President Donald Trump signed the Farm Bureau-supported supplemental disaster relief bill on June 6.
“The disaster relief measure signed by President Trump is an important lifeline for farmers and ranchers whose greatest desire is to keep producing the food, fuel and fiber that make our way of life possible,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said. “The last two years have brought historic hurricanes like Florence and Michael. We have faced wildfires, tornadoes and flooding that has led to the worst planting season on record for many commodities. Many farmers have faced near-complete losses, and this measure will help us weather the storm.”
The bill includes $3.005 billion administered through the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) for necessary expenses related to losses of crops—including on-farm stored commodities and crops that could not be planted in 2019—trees, bushes, vines, milk and harvested adulterated wine grapes caused by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019. Losses of peach and blueberry crops in 2017 due to extreme cold and help for farmers and ranchers impacted by Tropical Storm Cindy will also fall under WHIP.
Along with funding for the Nutrition Assistance for Puerto Rico program, the bill contains assistance for non-industrial timber restoration, rural watershed recovery and the rehabilitation of farmland damaged by natural disasters.
The measure also provides money for the Rural Development Community Facilities Grant Program, which funds the development of essential community facilities in rural areas.
“Americans have always come together in times of need to help lift our neighbors and support our communities,” Duvall said. “We thank Congress and the president for delivering this much-needed assistance for American agriculture.”