Cramer Reiterates Need for Prevented Plant Clarification
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer reiterated his call for the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) to clarify its rules on prevented plant insurance. Last month the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) estimated North Dakota has over 4.4 million acres prevented from planting for the 2013 growing season, the second-highest acreage in the history of the insurance program. Cramer said farmers need greater certainty from the government as harvesting begins and fall planting considerations are made.
The RMA maintains a 1 in 4 year planting rule which allows producers to be considered for prevented plant insurance payment only if they planted during at least one of the last four years. Earlier in the year the agency said farmers seeking loss compensation for 2013 may not be able to count any of last year’s planting toward one of those four years because 2012 would be designated as an abnormally dry year.
“The lack of clarity surrounding prevent plant this year is telling. Our farmers and insurance agents need better certainty on these rules not only in the near-term, but for future years to prevent a repeat of the confusion we are seeing,” Cramer said. “2012 should be counted toward the 1 in 4 rule, and the RMA should simplify these rules so farmers can interpret them on their own without waiting for a statement from the agency. It is my hope Administrator Brandon Willis will heed this call and permanently clarify prevented plant rules.”