The four senators and two representatives representing the Dakotas are pressing the Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency to make a change to the crop insurance provisions for sunflowers.

The lawmakers say the current treatment of sunflowers in the enterprise unit structure of crop insurance puts sunflower producers at a disadvantage and hinders their potential for increased production. They say producers are unable to protect oilseed and confectionery sunflowers differently despite the separate types of sunflowers having their own yield history and RMA adjustment factors to determine loss.

“This treatment disadvantages producers because when a crop insurance adjuster determines loss they use the total combined yield rather than differentiating between types,” Sens. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., John Hoeven, R-N.D., Mike Rounds, R-S.D., and John Thune, R-S.D., as well as Reps. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., and Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., said in a letter to Acting RMA Administrator Richard Flournoy.

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“Because of this structure, a gain on one type of sunflower impacts a loss on the other type of sunflower,” they added. “Establishing enterprise units by sunflower type would resolve these discrepancies and strengthen crop insurance available to sunflower producers.”

The letter follows a similar request from National Sunflower Association leadership in July. RMA took a similar action in June to allow enterprise units by type of wheat and dry beans and peas for 2022.

Crop insurance is available for over 100 different commodities, including some animals and animal products.

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