WASHINGTON—U.S Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today urged U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to provide Iowa agricultural cooperatives with additional support and relief as they continue to rebuild from the derecho. This letter comes following a request made last week by the Iowa Institute of Cooperatives to the USDA for assistance.
“This devastating storm came at a difficult time for the cooperatives and their members. The current economic impact of the Coronavirus on the agriculture supply chain has lowered prices for Iowa's main commodities, corn and soybeans. Many Iowa farmers who make up the membership of Iowa cooperatives will be hurt by a combination of the Coronavirus, drought, and damage from the storm,” the senators wrote.
“We ask that you consider the needs of Iowa agricultural cooperatives as they recover from the storm. Iowa farmers rely on agricultural cooperatives to deliver grain for storage and drying, market their commodities, order feed for livestock, and buy their agricultural inputs. We look forward to hearing from you on how to best ensure cooperatives can bounce back to ensure the success of Iowa agriculture and Iowa’s agricultural cooperatives into the future,” the senators concluded.
Following the derecho, at least 71 grain elevators were either destroyed or heavily damaged at seven different cooperatives across the state, adding up to 57 million bushels of storage capacity that will not be available to farmers this fall.
Full text of the letter can be found HERE.