USDA To Make $2.36 Billion in Disaster Payments


Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the USDA will make disaster payments of up to $2.36 billion to help farmers and ranchers recover from 2017 hurricanes and wildfires. The funds, authorized by Congress, are a part of the new 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program, or WHIP. Sign up for the new program will begin no later than July 16. The USDA’s Farm Service Agency will begin making these payments to help agricultural producers offset losses from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as devastating wildfires. The USDA says 2017 was a historic year for natural disasters and this investment is part of a broader suite of programs that USDA is delivering to rural America to aid in recovery. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2017 provided a total of more than $3 billion in disaster relief by creating new programs, as well as expediting or enhancing payments to producers. “America’s farmers feed our nation and much of the world, and throughout history they have known good years and bad years,” says Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, “but when significant disasters strike, we are ready to step in and provide the assistance they need.”