Iowa Ag Review


The issue of disaster assistance for agriculture has been debated on and off for many years. In most years in the past decade, Congress provided ad hoc disaster assistance for various agricultural disasters across the country. The most recent packages have had a difficult time getting through Congress, as the president insisted on budget offsets to pay for them. A few key members of Congress pushed hard and were successful in including a permanent disaster program in the 2008 farm bill. The newly enacted legislation issues a fleet of disaster assistance programs for specialty crop, livestock, honeybee, and farm-raised fish and program crop disasters. The largest title covers program crops and is called the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE).