Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says farmers ought to be eligible for federal compensation for grain lost in flooded bins this spring. At nearly the same time, House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson called for a one-time payment to flooded grain operators.
Insurance policies typically cover grain bins and the equipment needed to move the grain, but that doesn’t apply to the contents of the grain bins, and USDA says none of the agency’s disaster programs cover stored grain hit by floods.
“I think we can do a one-time thing to try and help people with that,” said Peterson.
What makes the flooding even worse for farmers is grain cannot be sold for food use if it’s been contaminated by flooding because of possible mold and fungal development. On Capitol Hill, Perdue compared flooded grains in bins to flooded grain fields, saying, “If it was flooded prior to harvest, would we have compensated for it? Yes. Just because it’s in the bin, does that make it different? They haven’t marketed that. I think it’s something we should consider.”
In a speech on the House floor, North Carolina representative David Rouzer expressed his displeasure that a disaster bill for farmers hurt by hurricanes Florence and Michael last fall has yet to be passed.
“You’ve got members of the House and the Senate who care very deeply about their constituency, have been working very hard to get and ag disaster package,” said Rouzer, “and find it incredibly frustrating that here in April, months after these storms have hit, we’ve made no progress.”