Michael Scuse, USDA acting undersecretary of agriculture for farm and foreign agricultural services, will be in North Dakota Tuesday, Aug. 9, to to see the impact excessive spring moisture and continued wet weather have had on the state's agricultural sector.
Scuse oversees USDA's crop insurance and ag disaster programs.
"This year's floods have had a devastating impact on communities across the state," says Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who invited the Scuse to make the trip. "The unprecedented rainfall that caused flooding also left millions of acres unplanted, and much of acreage that was planted has been subsequently flooded, causing additional damage. This will have a significant impact on North Dakota's family farmers and ranchers for weeks and months to come. It is important for him to see the impact of this disaster first hand."
According to an analysis performed by North Dakota State University's Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics, the direct financial impact to North Dakota's farmers of prevented planted acres in 2011 is estimated at $1.1 billion.
The $1.1 billion figure was reached by examining the number of acres that will be prevented from being planted this year and represents a loss in total revenue, not net farm profit. This estimate is based on the market value of the crops that would have been p roduced on the acreage that is too wet to plant this year.
Scuse will visit the farm of Jon Erickson in Minot and speak with area producers about the numerous disaster assistance programs available, including: crop insurance indemnities; emergency loans; the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program; the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) for livestock; the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, & Farm-raised Fish Program; the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP); and haying and grazing of CRP acres.
Scuse oversees the Farm Service Agency, which distributes farm subsidies, and the Risk Management Agency, which oversees crop insurance.
Sen. Conrad is a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He was the architect of the 2008 Farm Bill's disaster assistance program, which has provided thousands of North Dakota farm and ranch families with assistance when weather-related disasters wreaked havoc on their crops.
Source: Sen. Conrad's office