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Rep. Feenstra seeks derecho aid for Iowa farmers

Bill would cover losses due to high winds

U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra is again trying to get financial help for farmers whose crops and buildings were flattened by a derecho storm in August 2020.

The Republican from Hull has introduced a bill that would cover losses due to high winds under the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“I have continued fighting to secure relief for Iowa producers who suffered losses from last year’s devastating derecho, which only exacerbated the challenges producers were facing from pandemic-related disruptions,” Feenstra said in a written statement.

Feenstra tried to get such aid included in the pandemic relief bill passed early this year and signed into law by President Joe Biden.

He was able to get an amendment to do just that approved by the House Agriculture Committee. However, Democratic leaders stripped the amendment from the bill before it was voted on by the full House.

On Aug. 10, 2020, straight-line winds gusting up to 100 mph screamed across the Midwest from South Dakota to Ohio. Power lines were torn down, crops were flattened and farm buildings were destroyed.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated the cost of the damages from the storm at $7.5 billion.

His latest proposal would make it possible for farmers who sustained damages during the derecho to get help from the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus.

“My common sense proposal would help all those who suffered catastrophic damage from last summer’s derecho and are still working to claw their way back,” Feenstra said.

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