SD delegation applauds USDA for prevented planting changeSouth Dakota’s congressional contingent and farmers are applauding a modification to a federal crop insurance program that will help growers whose livelihoods have been jeopardized by several years of flooding.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
South Dakota’s congressional contingent and farmers are applauding a modification to a federal crop insurance program that will help growers whose livelihoods have been jeopardized by several years of flooding.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency announced this week it will adjust a provision to its “prevented planting” policy. The USDA modification will allow farmers to use the 2008 crop year as well as 2009, 2010 and 2011 in determining prevented planting coverage for 2012. Previously, only the three most recent years were considered.
The South Dakota Corn Growers Association commended the RMA and U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who pressed the agency.
“We’re grateful to Sen. Thune and his staff for pushing the RMA to change its rule,” said Gary Duffy, president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association. “Many farmers have been unable to plant their productive farm ground for three years because of extreme snowmelt and rainfall. This is land they harvested for decades, and the policy would have unfairly penalized them for factors beyond their control. Nature has already dished out a heavy punishment.”
Sen. Tim Johnson, DS.D., said “the change will expand the number of farmers in our state that can qualify for this important insurance program.”
U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, RS.D., called the adjustment a “common sense change.”
“Farmers in northeastern South Dakota can’t control the fact that there have been three extremely wet years in a row,” she said.