U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said details of a $9.25 billion disaster aid program should be announced in the next couple of weeks with payments starting as early as June. Vilsack testified to the Senate Ag Appropriates Subcommittee for FY-2023 spending plans and received questions from senators on disaster aid, boosting crop production, and international food aid amidst the crisis in Ukraine.

Vilsack reported two tranches of payments are planned for the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program-Plus (WHIP-Plus), which should be complete by the end of June. USDA is also working on an Emergency Relief Program (ERP) for row crops and specialty crops hit by natural disasters. The delegation also discussed shipping costs, as Vilsack lamented it costs more to ship U.S. commodities to certain countries than the value of the product.

Read more on Vilsack’s testimony and pending USDA programs here.