Lawmakers recently met with sugar producers to discuss needed relief efforts after a challenging growing season. 

North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, a Republican from North Dakota and chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, along with House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat, met with sugar producers last week. 

They are working with Department of Agriculture undersecretary Bill Northey to secure disaster assistance funding for sugarbeet growers, while urging USDA to avoid any premature actions, including increasing sugar imports. 

Sugarbeet growers, who were impacted by severe weather, are facing unique circumstances as they work to recover, including the inability to complete harvest and budgeting constraints faced by the cooperative. 

The current disaster programs do not account for these constraints, which is why Hoeven and Peterson are working with USDA to secure disaster assistance. 

Hoeven says producers “have faced real challenges this harvest,” while Peterson says, “we’ll continue having conversations to see what can be done to address the concerns.”