Ag Policy Blog

Hoeven, Tester Introduce Disaster Aid Bill

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent
With increasing drought conditions in the West and Midwest, a pair of senators introduced a bill to provide disaster aid for livestock producers, focusing heavily on hay and forage programs. (DTN file photo)

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., the ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., who also serves on the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, on Thursday introduced bipartisan legislation to improve livestock disaster assistance.

They said in a news release that the bill would:

-- Align coverage between the Livestock Forage Program (LFP) and Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP).

-- Increase producer assistance under LFP to more accurately compensate them for feed costs.

-- Specify transportation costs for feed and water as covered losses under ELAP.

-- Make these program improvements permanent.

"Our livestock producers are facing real challenges during this drought," Hoeven said. "Our bipartisan legislation makes common-sense improvements to the Livestock Forage and Emergency Livestock Assistance Programs to better meet the needs on the ground. Our ranchers are really up against it and this bipartisan legislation is about doing all we can to help them through this severe weather."

"We are experiencing a devastating drought that has touched every corner of Montana and put a real hurt on livestock producers in our state," said Tester.

"This bipartisan bill will beef up critical livestock disaster programs, providing additional certainty so Montana ranchers can weather this year's drought and emerge whole on the other side of this crisis."

-- Livestock Disaster Relief Act:…



A coalition of conservation and food-focused nongovernmental organizations has released a set of principles for the regulation of gene editing.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Federation of America, Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund US are participants in the NGO Roundtable on Potential Implications of Gene Editing Applications for Agriculture and the Environment.

The roundtable is facilitated by the Keystone Policy Center and brings together U.S.-based NGOs in food, agriculture, the environment and related interest areas to provide a forum for peer-to-peer engagement on gene editing policy and science and exploration of gene editing's potential impacts in agriculture and the environment.

-- Keystone Policy Center -- Principles for Governance: Gene Editing Applications in Agriculture and the Environment:…

-- NGOs Outline Principles for Governance of Gene Edited Products for Agriculture and the Environment:…

Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at

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