Two Missouri congressmen plan to introduce a bill to make supplemental agriculture disaster assistance available to producers because of the devastation caused by drought.
Kansas City Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, a Democrat, says he and Republican Rep. Sam Graves seek to extend disaster assistance for most of the livestock and other programs that expired in October 2011 and make funds available for fiscal year 2012/13.
Their bill would extend payment rates for livestock deaths for 2012 and 2013, extend grazing losses through this year, fund weather-related losses at $5 million for 2012 and 2013, extend damages for orchards and nursery tree growers. The bill also adds new language to allow producers without access to crop insurance "the opportunity to buy-up coverage for losses in 2012."
Their bill is a companion to the Senate bill introduced earlier this year by Sen. Max Baucus, Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow and Missouri Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill.
Cleaver says "they hope to push leadership into action on disaster assistance and on reauthorization of a long overdue five-year farm bill."
A bill that passed in January reauthorized those programs but they were not given "specific funding levels."