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Senators want more USDA margin protection tools for farmers

Senators want more USDA margin protection tools for farmers

The tools need to address the risks related to higher input costs

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

U.S. senators want the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to do more to help farmers facing high input costs and volatile commodity markets.

Sens. Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman of the agriculture committee, and John Boozman, ranking member of the committee, wrote to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Risk Management Agency Administrator Marcia Bunger asking them to come up with additional tools for producers.

“We request the Department of Agriculture, through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, consider accelerating the expansion of margin protection tools or similar products for additional commodities and regions,” the Sept. 29 letter says.

Margin protection tools exist for dairy, livestock and crop producers within certain areas of the country.

Expanding those tools to include more farmers in more parts of the country is important, especially now, the senators say.

“Many farmers are underway in their planning for fall fertilizer applications,” the letter says. “Prioritizing the thoughtful and timely expansion of margin protection plans of insurance for additional commodities, as well are related insurance products designed for specialty crops, would allow producers the opportunity to familiarize themselves with these tools and better manage production cost risks by next fall.”


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