A five-year, USDA-funded study says that producers can’t get the insurance coverage they need either because it’s unavailable for their particular crops or won’t cover their losses adequately because of the conservation practices they follow.
Agriculture Department officials expect farmers to file more than $1 billion in insurance claims for acreage they were unable to plant due to the succession of storms across the Midwest and Mississippi River valley this spring.
Farmers in the waterlogged Midwest who are struggling to plant their corn or soybeans, and others who’ve given up and are deciding whether to buy seed for cover crops, still lack key information from USDA despite new guidance this week for its trade and disaster aid programs.
A bipartisan group of senators joined some Corn Belt farm groups in appealing to the Agriculture Department to ease restrictions on haying and grazing of cover crops that farmers will plant on acreage they were unable to sow to corn or soybeans this year.
Farmers have until May 10 to apply for funding under the Conservation Stewardship Program, the largest working lands conservation program in the country, the Natural Resources Conservation Service announced Friday.
Advocates for dairy farmers pressed USDA officials at a farm bill listening session to move quickly to get payments to financially strapped producers, while other groups urged the department to put a priority on removing barriers to cover crops and scheduling signups for major conservation programs.
A federal climate change report released the day after Thanksgiving includes a menu of what U.S. farmers can expect over the coming decades: higher temperatures, heavier and more frequent rains, and yield losses.
The Senate farm bill offers changes to crop insurance that could benefit the largest as well as the smallest farms while also clearing the way for research that could lead to premium discounts for conservation practices.