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NFU: No End in Sight for Midwest Farmers
North Dakota Ag Connection - 04/12/2019

Following last month's flooding, Midwest farmers and ranchers are staring down immense costs due to crop loss, livestock deaths, and building damage. Though U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs can help farmers offset some of these losses, not all damages are eligible for coverage. Most notably, stored crops are not covered by these programs, noted the National Farmers Union (NFU) Thursday.

In any given year, farmers will store grain post-harvest in anticipation of higher prices later on.

This year, facing depressed prices from overproduction and international trade disputes, producers stored more of their harvests than they usually do. According to the USDA, in the first two months of 2019, farmers had stored 29 percent more soybeans than they had in the same period in 2018.

As a result, large quantities of uninsured corn and soy were swept away in the flood. By some estimates, at least 832 storage bins collectively holding 5 to 10 million bushels of stored grain were located in flooded areas, costing farmers between $17.3 million and $34.6 million.

The NFU reports that there has been talk of supplementary emergency assistance for those affected by recent extreme weather events, but so far, no additional aid has materialized.

"Unfortunately, it appears that many of these communities are not out of the woods yet; this week, another spring storm has hit the Midwest and Central and Northern Plains, which could cause further damage to crops and livestock as well as delay important fieldwork," NFU leaders noted.

If you're concerned about farmers affected by extreme weather events, the NGU is asking people to donate to Farm Aid's Family Farm Disaster Assistance Fund at https://bit.ly/2Yg2HRl and Nebraska Farmers Union Foundation's flood relief fund at http://nebraskafarmersunion.org/.

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