Budget deal makes more disaster assistance to agriculture

WASHINGTON – Expanded assistance will be available to farmers, ranchers, and honey bee producers impacted by disasters with the passage of a budget deal by Congress.

The budget deal removes the funding cap for the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program. The program is currently capped at $20 million, but demand has been nearly $40 million and is expected to grow, according to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND, who introduced legislation in December to remove the cap.

The budget deal also expands the Livestock Indemnity Program to cover losses incurred by selling livestock at a reduced priced. Currently, LIP only covers losses due to livestock death caused by adverse weather and other disasters.