< Back to S. 3855 (109th Congress, 2005–2006)

Text of the Emergency Farm Relief Act of 2006

This bill was introduced on September 6, 2006, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Sep 6, 2006 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

II

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3855

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 6, 2006

(for himself, Mr. Coleman, Mr. Nelson of Nebraska, Mr. Talent, Mr. Dorgan, Mr. Baucus, Mr. Salazar, Mr. Johnson, Ms. Cantwell, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Obama, Mr. Dayton, Mr. Thune, Mrs. Lincoln, and Mr. Burns) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

A BILL

To provide emergency agricultural disaster assistance, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Emergency Farm Relief Act of 2006.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Definitions.

TITLE I—Agricultural production losses

Sec. 101. Crop disaster assistance.

Sec. 102. Livestock assistance.

Sec. 103. Flooded crop and grazing land.

Sec. 104. Sugar beet disaster assistance.

Sec. 105. Bovine tuberculosis herd indemnification.

Sec. 106. Reduction in payments.

TITLE II—Supplemental nutrition and agricultural economic disaster assistance

Sec. 121. Replenishment of Section 32.

Sec. 122. Supplemental economic loss payments.

Sec. 123. Small business economic loss grant program.

TITLE III—Conservation

Sec. 131. Emergency conservation program.

Sec. 132. Emergency watershed protection program.

TITLE IV—Farm Service Agency

Sec. 141. Funding for additional personnel.

TITLE V—Miscellaneous

Sec. 151. Funding.

Sec. 152. Regulations.

TITLE VI—Emergency designation

Sec. 161. Emergency designation.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Additional coverage

The term additional coverage has the meaning given the term in section 502(b)(1) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1502(b)(1)).

(2)

Disaster county

The term disaster county means—

(A)

a county included in the geographic area covered by a natural disaster declaration; and

(B)

each county contiguous to a county described in subparagraph (A).

(3)

Hurricane-affected county

The term hurricane-affected county means—

(A)

a county included in the geographic area covered by a natural disaster declaration related to Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, Hurricane Wilma, or a related condition; and

(B)

each county contiguous to a county described in subparagraph (A).

(4)

Insurable commodity

The term insurable commodity means an agricultural commodity (excluding livestock) for which the producers on a farm are eligible to obtain a policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

(5)

Livestock

The term livestock includes—

(A)

cattle (including dairy cattle);

(B)

bison;

(C)

sheep;

(D)

swine; and

(E)

other livestock, as determined by the Secretary.

(6)

Natural disaster declaration

The term natural disaster declaration means a natural disaster declared by the Secretary during calendar year 2005 or 2006 under section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1961(a)).

(7)

Noninsurable commodity

The term noninsurable commodity means a crop for which the producers on a farm are eligible to obtain assistance under section 196 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7333).

(8)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture.

I

Agricultural production losses

101.

Crop disaster assistance

(a)

In general

The Secretary shall use such sums as are necessary of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to make emergency financial assistance authorized under this section available to producers on a farm that have incurred qualifying losses described in subsection (c).

(b)

Administration

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall make assistance available under this section in the same manner as provided under section 815 of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001 (Public Law 106–387; 114 Stat. 1549A–55), including using the same loss thresholds for quantity and economic losses as were used in administering that section, except that the payment rate shall be 50 percent of the established price, instead of 65 percent.

(2)

Noninsured producers

For producers on a farm that were eligible to acquire crop insurance for the applicable production loss and failed to do so or failed to submit an application for the noninsured assistance program for the loss, the Secretary shall make assistance in accordance with paragraph (1), except that the payment rate shall be 35 percent of the established price, instead of 50 percent.

(c)

Qualifying losses

Assistance under this section shall be made available to producers on farms, other than producers of sugar beets, that incurred qualifying quantity or quality losses for the 2005 or 2006 crop due to damaging weather or any related condition (including losses due to crop diseases, insects, and delayed harvest), as determined by the Secretary.

(d)

Quality losses

(1)

In general

In addition to any payment received under subsection (b), the Secretary shall use such sums as are necessary of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to make payments to producers on a farm described in subsection (a) that incurred a quality loss for the 2005 or 2006 crop, or both, of a commodity in an amount equal to the product obtained by multiplying—

(A)

the payment quantity determined under paragraph (2);

(B)
(i)

in the case of an insurable commodity, the coverage level elected by the insured under the policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.); or

(ii)

in the case of a noninsurable commodity, the applicable coverage level for the payment quantity determined under paragraph (2); by

(C)

50 percent of the payment rate determined under paragraph (3).

(2)

Payment quantity

For the purpose of paragraph (1)(A), the payment quantity for quality losses for a crop of a commodity on a farm shall equal the lesser of—

(A)

the actual production of the crop affected by a quality loss of the commodity on the farm; or

(B)
(i)

in the case of an insurable commodity, the actual production history for the commodity by the producers on the farm under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.); or

(ii)

in the case of a noninsurable commodity, the established yield for the crop for the producers on the farm under section 196 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7333).

(3)

Payment rate

(A)

In general

For the purpose of paragraph (1)(B), the payment rate for quality losses for a crop of a commodity on a farm shall be equal to the difference between (as determined by the applicable State committee of the Farm Service Agency)—

(i)

the per unit market value that the units of the crop affected by the quality loss would have had if the crop had not suffered a quality loss; and

(ii)

the per unit market value of the units of the crop affected by the quality loss.

(B)

Factors

In determining the payment rate for quality losses for a crop of a commodity on a farm, the applicable State committee of the Farm Service Agency shall take into account—

(i)

the average local market quality discounts that purchasers applied to the commodity during the first 2 months following the normal harvest period for the commodity;

(ii)

the loan rate and repayment rate established for the commodity under the marketing loan program established for the commodity under subtitle B of title I of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7931 et seq.);

(iii)

the market value of the commodity if sold into a secondary market; and

(iv)

other factors determined appropriate by the committee.

(4)

Eligibility

(A)

In general

For producers on a farm to be eligible to obtain a payment for a quality loss for a crop under this subsection—

(i)

the amount obtained by multiplying the per unit loss determined under paragraph (1) by the number of units affected by the quality loss shall be reduced by the amount of any indemnification received by the producers on the farm for quality loss adjustment for the commodity under a policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.); and

(ii)

the remainder shall be at least 25 percent of the value that all affected production of the crop would have had if the crop had not suffered a quality loss.

(B)

Ineligibility

If the amount of a quality loss payment for a commodity for the producers on a farm determined under this paragraph is equal to or less than zero, the producers on the farm shall be ineligible for assistance for the commodity under this subsection.

(5)

Eligible production

The Secretary shall carry out this subsection in a fair and equitable manner for all eligible production, including the production of fruits and vegetables, other specialty crops, and field crops.

(e)

Timing

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary shall make payments to producers on a farm for a crop under this section not later than 60 days after the date the producers on the farm submit to the Secretary a completed application for the payments.

(2)

Interest

If the Secretary does not make payments to the producers on a farm by the date described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall pay to the producers on a farm interest on the payments at a rate equal to the current (as of the sign-up deadline established by the Secretary) market yield on outstanding, marketable obligations of the United States with maturities of 30 years.

102.

Livestock assistance

(a)

Livestock Compensation Program

(1)

Use of Commodity Credit Corporation funds

Effective beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall use funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out the 2002 Livestock Compensation Program announced by the Secretary on October 10, 2002 (67 Fed. Reg. 63070), to provide compensation for livestock losses during calendar years 2005 and 2006 for losses due to a disaster, as determined by the Secretary, except that the payment rate shall be 75 percent of the payment rate established for the 2002 Livestock Compensation Program.

(2)

Eligible applicants

In carrying out the program described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall provide assistance to any applicant for livestock losses during calendar year 2005 or 2006, or both, that—

(A)
(i)

conducts a livestock operation that is located in a disaster county, including any applicant conducting a livestock operation with eligible livestock (within the meaning of the livestock assistance program under section 101(b) of division B of Public Law 108–324 (118 Stat. 1234)); or

(ii)

produces an animal described in section 10806(a)(1) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (21 U.S.C. 321d(a)(1));

(B)

demonstrates to the Secretary that the applicant suffered a material loss of pasture or hay production, or experienced substantially increased feed costs, due to damaging weather or a related condition during the calendar year, as determined by the Secretary; and

(C)

meets all other eligibility requirements established by the Secretary for the program.

(3)

Mitigation

In determining the eligibility for or amount of payments for which a producer is eligible under the livestock compensation program, the Secretary shall not penalize a producer that takes actions (recognizing disaster conditions) that reduce the average number of livestock the producer owned for grazing during the production year for which assistance is being provided.

(b)

Livestock indemnity payments

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall use such sums as are necessary of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to make livestock indemnity payments to producers on farms that have incurred livestock losses during calendar years 2005 and 2006 for losses that occurred prior to the date of enactment of this Act (including wildfire disaster losses in the State of Texas and other States) due to a disaster, as determined by the Secretary, including losses due to hurricanes, floods, anthrax, and wildfires.

(2)

Payment rates

Indemnity payments to a producer on a farm under paragraph (1) shall be made at a rate of not less than 30 percent of the market value of the applicable livestock on the day before the date of death of the livestock, as determined by the Secretary.

(c)

Ewe lamb replacement and retention

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall use $13,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to make payments under the Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Payment Program under part 784 of title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (or a successor regulation) for each qualifying ewe lamb retained or purchased during the period beginning on January 1, 2006, and ending on December 31, 2006.

(2)

Ineligibility for other assistance

A producer that receives assistance under this subsection shall not be eligible to receive assistance under subsection (a).

103.

Flooded crop and grazing land

(a)

In general

The Secretary shall compensate eligible owners of flooded crop and grazing land in—

(1)

the Devils Lake basin; and

(2)

the McHugh, Lake Laretta, and Rose Lake closed drainage areas of the State of North Dakota.

(b)

Eligibility

(1)

In general

To be eligible to receive compensation under this section, an owner shall own land described in subsection (a) that, during the 2 crop years preceding receipt of compensation, was rendered incapable of use for the production of an agricultural commodity or for grazing purposes (in a manner consistent with the historical use of the land) as the result of flooding, as determined by the Secretary.

(2)

Inclusions

Land described in paragraph (1) shall include—

(A)

land that has been flooded;

(B)

land that has been rendered inaccessible due to flooding; and

(C)

a reasonable buffer strip adjoining the flooded land, as determined by the Secretary.

(3)

Administration

The Secretary may establish—

(A)

reasonable minimum acreage levels for individual parcels of land for which owners may receive compensation under this section; and

(B)

the location and area of adjoining flooded land for which owners may receive compensation under this section.

(c)

Sign-up

The Secretary shall establish a sign-up program for eligible owners to apply for compensation from the Secretary under this section.

(d)

Compensation payments

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the rate of an annual compensation payment under this section shall be equal to 90 percent of the average annual per acre rental payment rate (at the time of entry into the contract) for comparable crop or grazing land that has not been flooded and remains in production in the county where the flooded land is located, as determined by the Secretary.

(2)

Reduction

An annual compensation payment under this section shall be reduced by the amount of any conservation program rental payments or Federal agricultural commodity program payments received by the owner for the land during any crop year for which compensation is received under this section.

(3)

Exclusion

During any year in which an owner receives compensation for flooded land under this section, the owner shall not be eligible to participate in or receive benefits for the flooded land under—

(A)

the Federal crop insurance program established under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.);

(B)

the noninsured crop assistance program established under section 196 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7333); or

(C)

any Federal agricultural crop disaster assistance program.

(e)

Relationship to agricultural commodity programs

The Secretary, by regulation, shall provide for the preservation of cropland base, allotment history, and payment yields applicable to land described in subsection (a) that was rendered incapable of use for the production of an agricultural commodity or for grazing purposes as the result of flooding.

(f)

Use of land

(1)

In general

An owner that receives compensation under this section for flooded land shall take such actions as are necessary to not degrade any wildlife habitat on the land that has naturally developed as a result of the flooding.

(2)

Recreational activities

To encourage owners that receive compensation for flooded land to allow public access to and use of the land for recreational activities, as determined by the Secretary, the Secretary may—

(A)

offer an eligible owner additional compensation; and

(B)

provide compensation for additional acreage under this section.

(g)

Funding

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall use $6,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out this section.

(2)

Pro-rated payments

In a case in which the amount made available under paragraph (1) for a fiscal year is insufficient to compensate all eligible owners under this section, the Secretary shall pro-rate payments for that fiscal year on a per acre basis.

104.

Sugar beet disaster assistance

(a)

In general

The Secretary shall use $24,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide assistance to sugar beet producers that suffered production losses (including quality losses) for the 2005 crop year.

(b)

Requirement

The Secretary shall make payments under subsection (a) in the same manner as payments were made under section 208 of the Agricultural Assistance Act of 2003 (Public Law 108–7; 117 Stat. 544), including using the same indemnity benefits as were used in carrying out that section.

(c)

Hawaii

The Secretary shall use $6,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to assist sugarcane growers in Hawaii by making a payment in that amount to an agricultural transportation cooperative in Hawaii, the members of which are eligible to obtain a loan under section 156(a) of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7272(a)).

105.

Bovine tuberculosis herd indemnification

The Secretary shall use $2,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to indemnify producers that suffered losses to herds of cattle due to bovine tuberculosis during calendar year 2005.

106.

Reduction in payments

The amount of any payment for which a producer is eligible under this title shall be reduced by any amount received by the producer for the same loss or any similar loss under—

(1)

the Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (Public Law 109–148; 119 Stat. 2680);

(2)

an agricultural disaster assistance provision contained in the announcement of the Secretary on January 26, 2006, or August 29, 2006;

(3)

the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006 (Public Law 109-234; 120 Stat. 418); or

(4)

the Livestock Assistance Grant Program announced by the Secretary on August 29, 2006.

II

Supplemental nutrition and agricultural economic disaster assistance

121.

Replenishment of Section 32

(a)

Definition of specialty crop

In this section:

(1)

In general

The term specialty crop means any agricultural crop.

(2)

Exception

The term specialty crop does not include—

(A)

wheat;

(B)

feed grains;

(C)

oilseeds;

(D)

cotton;

(E)

rice;

(F)

peanuts; or

(G)

milk.

(b)

Base State grants

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall use $25,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to make grants to the several States to be used to support activities that promote agriculture.

(2)

Amounts

The amount of the grants shall be $500,000 to each of the several States.

(c)

Grants for value of production

The Secretary shall use $74,500,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to make a grant to each of the several States in an amount equal to the product obtained by multiplying—

(1)

the share of the State of the total value of specialty crop and livestock of the United States for the 2004 crop year, as determined by the Secretary; by

(2)

$74,500,000.

(d)

Special crop and livestock priority

As a condition on the receipt of a grant under this section, a State shall agree to give priority to the support of specialty crops and livestock in the use of the grant funds.

(e)

Use of funds

A State may use funds from a grant awarded under this section—

(1)

to supplement State food bank programs or other nutrition assistance programs;

(2)

to promote the purchase, sale, or consumption of agricultural products;

(3)

to provide economic assistance to agricultural producers, giving a priority to the support of specialty crops and livestock; or

(4)

for other purposes as determined by the Secretary.

122.

Supplemental economic loss payments

(a)

In general

Subject to subsection (b), the Secretary shall make a supplemental economic loss payment to—

(1)

any producers on a farm that received a direct payment for crop year 2005 under title I of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7901 et seq.); and

(2)

any dairy producer that was eligible to receive a payment during the 2005 calendar year under section 1502 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7982).

(b)

Amount

(1)

Covered commodities

Subject to paragraph (3), the amount of a supplemental economic loss payment made to the producers on a farm under subsection (a)(1) shall be equal to the product obtained by multiplying—

(A)

30 percent of the direct payment rate in effect for the covered commodity of the producers on the farm;

(B)

85 percent of the base acres of the covered commodity of the producers on the farm; and

(C)

the payment yield for each covered commodity of the producers on the farm.

(2)

Dairy payments

(A)

Distribution

Supplemental economic loss payments under subsection (a)(2) shall be distributed in a manner that is consistent with section 1502 of the Farm and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7982).

(B)

Maximum amount

Subject to paragraph (3), the total amount available for supplemental economic loss payments under subsection (a)(2) shall not exceed $147,000,000.

(3)

Limitations

(A)

In general

Subject to subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall ensure that no person receives supplemental economic loss payments under—

(i)

subsection (a)(1) in excess of the per person limitations applicable to a person that receives payments described in subsection (a)(1); and

(ii)

subsection (a)(2) in excess of the per dairy operation limitation applicable to producers on a dairy farm described in subsection (a)(2).

(B)

Administration

In carrying out subparagraph (A), the Secretary—

(i)

shall establish separate limitations for supplemental economic loss payments received under this section; and

(ii)

shall not include the supplemental economic loss payments in applying payment limitations under section 1001 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1001) for payments made pursuant to the underlying normal operation of the program described in subsection (a)(1) or section 1502 of the Farm and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7982).

123.

Small business economic loss grant program

(a)

Definition of qualified State

In this section, the term qualified State means a State in which at least 50 percent of the counties of the State were declared to be primary agricultural disaster areas by the Secretary in at least 2 of crop years 2004, 2005, and 2006.

(b)

Grants to qualified States

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall use $300,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to make grants to State departments of agriculture or comparable State agencies in qualified States.

(2)

Amount

(A)

In general

Subject to subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall allocate grants among qualified States described in paragraph (1) based on the average value of agricultural sector production in the qualified State, determined as a percentage of the gross domestic product of the qualified State.

(B)

Minimum amount

The minimum amount of a grant under this subsection shall be $3,000,000.

(3)

Requirement

To be eligible to receive a grant under this subsection, a qualified State shall agree to carry out an expedited disaster assistance program to provide direct payments to qualified small businesses in accordance with subsection (c).

(c)

Direct payments to qualified small businesses

(1)

In general

In carrying out an expedited disaster assistance program described in subsection (b)(3), a qualified State shall provide direct payments to eligible small businesses in the qualified State that suffered material economic losses in at least 2 of crop years 2004, 2005, and 2006 as a direct result of weather-related agricultural losses to the crop or livestock production sectors of the qualified State, as determined by the Secretary.

(2)

Eligibility

(A)

In general

To be eligible to receive a direct payment under paragraph (1), a small business shall—

(i)

have less than $5,000,000 in average annual gross income from all business activities, at least 75 percent of which shall be directly related to production agriculture or agriculture support industries, as determined by the Secretary;

(ii)

verify the amount of economic loss attributable to weather-related agricultural losses using such documentation as the Secretary and the head of the qualified State agency may require;

(iii)

have suffered losses attributable to weather-related agricultural disasters that equal at least 50 percent of the total economic loss of the small business for each year a grant is requested; and

(iv)

demonstrate that the grant will materially improve the likelihood the business will—

(I)

recover from the disaster; and

(II)

continue to service and support production agriculture.

(3)

Requirements

A direct payment to small business under this subsection shall—

(A)

be limited to not more than 2 years of documented losses;

(B)

be in an amount of not more than 75 percent of the documented average economic loss attributable to weather-related agriculture disasters for each eligible year in the qualified State; and

(C)

not exceed $80,000 per grant per year.

(4)

Insufficient funding

If the grant funds received by a qualified State agency under subsection (b) are insufficient to fund the direct payments of the qualified State agency under this subsection, the qualified State agency may apply a proportional reduction to all of the direct payments.

III

Conservation

131.

Emergency conservation program

The Secretary shall use an additional $30,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out emergency measures identified by the Administrator of the Farm Service Agency as of the date of enactment of this Act through the emergency conservation program established under title IV of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2201 et seq.).

132.

Emergency watershed protection program

The Secretary shall use an additional $70,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out emergency measures identified by the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service as of the date of enactment of this Act through the emergency watershed protection program established under section 403 of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2203).

IV

Farm Service Agency

141.

Funding for additional personnel

The Secretary shall use $20,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to hire additional County Farm Service Agency personnel—

(1)

to expedite the implementation of, and delivery under, the agricultural disaster and economic assistance programs under this Act; and

(2)

as the Secretary determines to be necessary to carry out other agriculture and disaster assistance programs.

V

Miscellaneous

151.

Funding

The Secretary shall use the funds, facilities, and authorities of the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out this Act, to remain available until expended.

152.

Regulations

(a)

In general

The Secretary may promulgate such regulations as are necessary to implement this Act.

(b)

Procedure

The promulgation of the regulations and administration of this Act shall be made without regard to—

(1)

the notice and comment provisions of section 553 of title 5, United States Code;

(2)

the Statement of Policy of the Secretary of Agriculture effective July 24, 1971 (36 Fed. Reg. 13804), relating to notices of proposed rulemaking and public participation in rulemaking; and

(3)

chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code (commonly known as the Paperwork Reduction Act).

(c)

Congressional review of agency rulemaking

In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall use the authority provided under section 808 of title 5, United States Code.

VI

Emergency designation

161.

Emergency designation

The amounts provided under this Act are designated as an emergency requirement pursuant to section 402 of H. Con. Res. 95 (109th Congress).