February 11, 2005

Craig, Crapo Co-Sponsor Ag Drought Relief Bill

Washington, DC - Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Larry Craig have co-sponsored a new attempt to get disaster assistance to farmers and ranchers affected by drought conditions. Both senators joined Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS), Sam Brownback (R-KS), and Mike Enzi (R-WY) to introduce the Emergency Agriculture Assistance Act of 2004. The bill would provide eligible producers with $3 billion in emergency disaster assistance for the 2001 and 2002 crop years. Producers would choose between crop years 2001 or 2002. An additional $970 million would be provided for feed assistance for livestock producers with qualifying losses of hay and forage."Drought has caused severe hardship for farmers and ranchers in Idaho and across the country and has seriously affected rural communities and even our national economy," Senator Craig said. "The issue is not localized but widespread across the nation and must be addressed now. I am pleased to join my colleagues in sponsoring this important legislation." â??The 2002 Farm Bill did not provide disaster assistance to the farmers and ranchers facing severe drought conditions in Idaho and throughout the country,â?? said Senator Crapo. â??We simply must provide stand-alone legislation that will take care of this situation as well as make the case for such assistance to members of Congress who may not understand agriculture issues fully.â??A similar measure to assist producers facing drought failed last year when the 107th Congress adjourned without taking action on it. Idaho has been listed among the five hardest-hit drought states.# # #