WASHINGTON, DC (June 11, 2010) – U.S. Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and John Thune (R-SD) and U.S. Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) today announced that the USDA will provide $10.73 million in emergency Commodity Credit Corporation funding to respond to a possible grasshopper infestation across a number of western states, including South Dakota. The announcement follows a recent request by the delegation to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack asking for additional assistance.
"With some estimates indicating this year's grasshopper infestation could be the worst in thirty years, this emergency funding is welcome news. I'm pleased that USDA has responded so quickly to our request, and I will stay in contact with Secretary Vilsack as the season progresses to ensure we have the resources we need," said Johnson.
"This funding can help provide a measure of reassurance for South Dakota farmers and ranchers as they prepare for what appears to be an especially difficult season for grasshoppers," said Thune. "I am pleased that USDA has taken action to prepare for the potential economic harm that can result from a major infestation."
"I am pleased with the quick action USDA has taken to address this potential problem in South Dakota. The agricultural economy of South Dakota is important to our state's overall livelihood and the potential grasshopper infestation threatens that livelihood. Addressing this issue in advance will help to protect this season's crop and I thank Secretary Vilsack for responding to our request quickly," Rep. Herseth Sandlin said.
More information about the 2010 grasshopper forecast and the USDA's response plan is available online at www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/hot_issues/grasshopper/index.shtml