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Hoeven Presses USDA To Reconsider Prevented Plant Coverage Reduction For Corn

Senator John Hoeven today wrote to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to press USDA to reconsider its decision to reduce the prevented plant coverage rate for corn before the change becomes effective on November 30. The senator said he will work to fix the issue legislatively if necessary, to ensure that the program works for corn growers in North Dakota and across the nation.

“The prevented planting crop insurance program is a critical risk management tool for farmers in my state of North Dakota, and I disagree with the Risk Management Agency (RMA) decision to reduce the prevented planting coverage rate for corn from 60 percent to 55 percent. This cut in coverage will hurt our farmers during this difficult time of low commodity prices,” Hoeven wrote in the letter to Vilsack.

“Parts of North Dakota have received excessive amounts of rain in the latter half of 2016, which could result in increased demand for prevented planting in 2017. Growers should not be penalized by the weakening of one of their risk management tools during a time of low commodity prices. I urge you to reconsider this change before it becomes effective on November 30, 2016, in order to give past prevented planting reforms a chance to work and to take into account their effectiveness.”

RMA’s announcement to reduce prevented planting coverage percentages from 60 percent to 55 percent for corn will likely cost growers well over $100 million nationwide over the next 10 years and will have larger impacts in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.

As a member of the Senate Agriculture and Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has worked to provide strong risk management tools for producers. The senator has worked to simplify and clarify rules for the prevented plant program to ensure that it works for farmers and ranchers.

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