WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and Collin Peterson, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee this week continued their efforts to secure disaster assistance for sugar producers. The chairmen were joined by Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative CEO Kurt Wickstrom at a meeting with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary Bill Northey to outline the challenges facing sugarbeet growers.

The leaders made the case for providing disaster assistance to sugar producers who face substantial losses after severe weather prevented them from harvesting their crop. Current disaster programs do not account for the budgeting constraints and unique structure of cooperatives, which is why Hoeven and Peterson are working with USDA to secure disaster assistance.

“Our meeting continues our efforts to provide disaster assistance to producers impacted by the severe weather that prevented them from harvesting crops,” said Hoeven. “Given the unique challenges facing our sugar producers who were forced to leave their crop in the ground due to the late rain and early snow, we again made the case to USDA to provide them with much-needed disaster assistance.”

“This meeting is another step in finding assistance for those producers facing losses for sugar beets left in the ground. Undersecretary Northey has surveyed the conditions farmers in Minnesota faced during harvest and knows firsthand what our producers are facing. Securing disaster assistance for sugar producers is critical and I am hopeful after today’s meeting that we’re on track to getting this done."

Hoeven and Peterson have been working to secure disaster assistance for sugar producers, including meeting with sugar growers in Fargo at the end of November and earlier hosting Under Secretary Northey in North Dakota to meet with farmers and ranchers impacted by severe weather.