Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide more than $7 million in national disaster assistance for honeybee producers who suffered losses in 2009 primarily because of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). South Dakota ranked second in the country in honey production in 2009. This assistance is part of a release of $13 million total national funding from USDA’s Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP), which Johnson worked to include as part of the 2008 Farm Bill.
“I am pleased that USDA is releasing ELAP assistance today because South Dakota honeybee producers have faced many challenges in recent years,” Johnson said. “I will continue to support efforts to discover the causes of Colony Collapse Disorder and ensure that honeybee producers continue to play a vital role in our state’s agriculture sector.”
As a member of the Senate Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee, Johnson has continually fought for funding to research CCD. From 2007 through 2010, Johnson secured more than $37 million nationally for CCD research. In June, Johnson announced that USDA will provide more than $6 million in national disaster assistance for honeybee producers who suffered losses in 2008 primarily because of CCD.
Under ELAP, producers are compensated for losses that are not covered under other Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance Payment programs established by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, specifically Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), and Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program.