Yesterday, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the Federal government funded through December 3, 2021. President Joe Biden signed the funding package shortly thereafter, avoiding a government shutdown.
Along with funding to keep the government open, the package includes $10 billion to continue the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) and $18.6 billion to address other natural disasters, including hurricane and wildfire-battered areas.
Farmers who experienced losses in 2020 and 2021, including losses to crops and on-farm stored commodities, due to wildfires, hurricanes, floods and drought in counties designated by the Secretary of Agriculture are now eligible for support under this extension of WHIP+.
Drought losses are eligible if the producer's county was classified as a severe (D2) or worse drought for eight consecutive weeks as designated by the U.S Drought Monitor. A factsheet on all of the agricultural disaster assistance in the CR can be found here.
“USA Rice has long advocated for this much needed disaster assistance,” said Kirk Satterfield, a Mississippi rice farmer and USA Rice Farmers chair. “This assistance will help those farmers who are still recovering from hurricanes, flooding, drought and other disasters.
The continuing resolution gives Congress nine weeks to reach consensus on and pass all 12 Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bills, otherwise another CR will be needed to keep the government running and funded.