USDA Moving Slowly on 2020/21 Disaster Aid Implementation

North Dakota Senator John Hoeven is getting frustrated with the time it has taken USDA to distribute 2020 and 2021 disaster relief. “We passed this assistance at the end of September 2021. It’s been way too long for the assistance to get out to producers, especially over year-end when they’re trying to close up last year and make plans for next year,” said Hoeven. “We purposely wrote into the legislation the programs and flexibilities so USDA could expedite this thing, but they haven’t.” The first half of disaster aid for cattle producers will be distributed this month. Livestock payments are based on the Livestock Forage Program. The second half of the livestock payments will go to producers who sold animals at a discount during the drought. It will take longer for the FSA to distribute the second half of livestock payments. “That won’t happen this month, but somehow this got caught up between USDA lawyers and OMB. The USDA is still going back and forth on whether or not a new rule is required for the WHIP+ program.”