U.S. Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and John Thune (R-SD) and U.S. Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) today announced that the USDA will provide $10.73 million in emergency Commodity Credit Corporation funding to respond to a possible grasshopper infestation across a number of western states, including South Dakota. The announcement follows a recent request by the delegation to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack asking for additional assistance.
“With some estimates indicating this year’s grasshopper infestation could be the worst in thirty years, this emergency funding is welcome news. I’m pleased that USDA has responded so quickly to our request, and I will stay in contact with Secretary Vilsack as the season progresses to ensure we have the resources we need,” said Johnson.
“This funding can help provide a measure of reassurance for South Dakota farmers and ranchers as they prepare for what appears to be an especially difficult season for grasshoppers,” said Thune. “I am pleased that USDA has taken action to prepare for the potential economic harm that can result from a major infestation.”
“I am pleased with the quick action USDA has taken to address this potential problem in South Dakota. The agricultural economy of South Dakota is important to our state’s overall livelihood and the potential grasshopper infestation threatens that livelihood. Addressing this issue in advance will help to protect this season’s crop and I thank Secretary Vilsack for responding to our request quickly,” Rep. Herseth Sandlin said.
More information about the 2010 grasshopper forecast and the USDA’s response plan is available online at www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/hot_issues/grasshopper/index.shtml. To see the delegation’s initial letter to USDA, please click here.
Source: The Offices of Senator Tim Johnson and Senator John Thune
Today, U.S. Senators Mike Enzi, John Barrasso and Representative Cynthia Lummis, all R-Wyo., applauded the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to provide funding for grasshopper treatment activities in western states, including Wyoming. Earlier this year, the delegation sent a letter to Secretary Vilsack requesting this funding from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to help address the problems associated with the overwhelming grasshopper infestation in Wyoming.
“Our folks on the ground have done a tremendous job preparing for an influx of grasshoppers. Their efforts providing information so APHIS can be alert and ready has certainly paid off. If we continue working together we can ensure we have a full tool box of resources at our disposal to combat a possible onslaught of grasshoppers,” said Enzi.
“Wyoming’s farmers and ranchers are on the front lines in dealing with this grasshopper infestation. Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction to mitigate affects on Wyoming agriculture. It’s imperative that USDA continues to work with our state to provide the necessary resources to alleviate damage to crops and livestock,” said Barrasso.
“I applaud the USDA’s response to the delegation’s urgent calls to mitigate this potentially catastrophic grasshopper outbreak. Conditions have been favorable for heavy grasshopper infestation and recent survey results in Wyoming have been particularly concerning. This infestation has the potential to take a major toll on Wyoming farms and ranches. I’m pleased that after repeated calls for the USDA to be proactive in this fight, they have finally responded with the help Wyoming’s producers desperately need,” said Lummis.
Source: The Offices of Senator Mke Enzi and Senator John Barrasso
Posted by Kaci Switzer