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Published June 05, 2014, 11:06 AM

Heitkamp, Thune lead effort to help farmers with losses from unplanted crops

U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND, and John Thune, R-SD, are spearheading a bipartisan effort to support farmers who are prevented from planting crops because of adverse weather, which can seriously impact a family farm’s bottom line.

By: Agweek Wire Report,

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND, and John Thune, R-SD, are spearheading a bipartisan effort to support farmers who are prevented from planting crops because of adverse weather, which can seriously impact a family farm’s bottom line.

The senators requested U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appropriately take these losses into account when implementing a new safety net program created by the farm bill by including approved prevented-planted acres in each farmer’s and county’s current year revenue calculation.

As USDA implements the 2014 farm bill, the senators want to make sure farmers receive appropriate and accurate support, as intended by Congress, from the Agriculture Risk Coverage safety net program by using the correct current year revenue calculation.

In their letter, the senators point out that such action by USDA would be consistent with crop insurance calculations and the 2008 Farm Bill’s Average Crop Revenue Election Program, which used prevented planting acres in the calculation to determine its safety-net payment triggers.

“Loss of a crop due to prevented planting can be just as devastating to a farming operation as production losses due to drought, flooding, or other natural disasters. Providing the most accurate picture of farm revenue is critical because the calculated threshold will determine which farms will receive assistance and at what levels under both individual and county Agricultural Risk Coverage programs,” the Senators wrote. “If prevented planting acres are not properly utilized in the revenue calculation, we are concerned that the program will not provide an adequate safety net for growers in our states and throughout the country when adverse weather conditions result in crops from being planted.”

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