The Department of Agriculture is offering assistance to farmers and ranchers affected by the devastation caused by historic flooding in the Midwest. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says USDA staff in the regional, state, and county offices are responding and providing a variety of program flexibilities and other assistance to residents, producers, and communities.
Perdue encouraged farmers to contact their local USDA Service Center, as USDA will “do everything in their power” to assist producers. USDA can help producers with the Livestock Indemnity Program, Emergency Assistance payments, along with resources through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and others.
The department can also assist rural communities in removing debris, and offers technical assistance, loans, grants, and loan guarantees to rural communities and individuals to assist with the construction or rehabilitation of utility infrastructure including water and wastewater systems, community infrastructure, and housing.
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor is calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation to help expedite rail delivery of biofuels amid historic flooding. Flooding in a four-state area has delayed transportation of critical supplies of biofuel, which in turn could impact consumer fuel costs.
In her letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Skor said, “Further delays could not only impact our industry, but could also ultimately increase fuel costs for American drivers.”
Rail lines in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri remain closed with many washouts reported from the flooding. Those rail lines are critical for the daily operation of biofuels facilities in the Midwest to receive and distribute its products.
Ethanol plants report some damages, delays or even closures as flood waters inundated Nebraska and the Missouri River bottom grounds, home to ethanol facilities and critical rail lines for the region. President Trump issued a federal emergency declaration for Nebraska last week.