WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today encouraged Ohio farmers affected by this spring’s heavy rainfall and flooding to contact their insurance company or agent in advance of final planting dates.
“Ohio farmers help put food on tables, create jobs, and strengthen our nation’s rural communities. Agriculture remains our state’s number one industry, with one out of every seven jobs tied to this important sector,” Brown said. “Ohio farmers affected by the heavy spring rain and flooding should be sure to contact their crop insurance company or agent as soon as possible to ensure that they receive the maximum prevented planting payment available.”
A recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed that in Ohio, only 2% of corn had been planted by May 8th, 2011, down from 74% at the same time in 2010. Other crops, such as soybeans, oats, and winter wheat, have also been affected.
According to the USDA, producers who are unable to plant an insured crop by the final planting date due to an insurable cause, such as excess moisture and flooding have a number of options. Producers may plant the insured crop during the 25 day late planting period with a reduction in the production guarantee of 1 percent a day for each day planting is delayed after the final planting date. Producers may leave the acreage idle and receive a full prevented planting payment or the insured may be able to plant the acreage to another crop after the late planting period and receive a reduced prevented planting payment. Producer with double cropping history can receive a full prevented planting within the guidelines of the policy. Prevented planting coverage will not be provided for any acreage that does not constitute at least 20 acres or 20 percent of the insurable crop acreage in the unit. Producers need to keep in mind that group policies do not provide prevented planting coverage.
Producers who have acreage that is now damaged because of excess moisture or flooding should notify their insurance company of the crop damage. The company will give permission to replant the acreage if it is practical to do so. If it is not practical to replant the acreage, the company can give permission for the producer to put the acreage to another use, abandon the crop or destroy the crop. Permission to replant, abandon or destroy any insured crop must be given in writing before the producer takes any action.
Producers can also get crop insurance information on the web at www.rma.usda.gov.
Last month, Brown launched his ‘Grown in Ohio’ listening tour in Chesterland at the Patterson Fruit Farm. Brown will be holding a number of these listening sessions across Ohio in the coming months to get the input of Ohio farmers before the Senate considers the 2012 Farm Bill.
Brown held a similar series of listening sessions prior to the last Farm Bill, and at one roundtable, the idea for the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program was born and eventually adopted in the final Farm Bill. The ACRE provision allows farmers to choose a new safety net program that protects against drops in yield or prices, which is critical for farmers given the uncertain and volatile farm economy.
Last month, Brown addressed the Ohio Farm Bureau in Washington, D.C, where he announced his plans for the ‘Grown in Ohio’ tour. At that speech, Brown outlined priorities for economic development and job growth in Ohio’s agricultural industry. In March, Brown also held a call with nearly 30 Ohio farmers to announce that he will be the new Chair of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth, and Energy. The critical panel is responsible for job creation in small towns and rural communities and the continued development of renewable fuels and clean energy technologies that support rural America.
As the first Ohioan in more than 40 years to serve on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Brown is looking forward to working on behalf of Ohio’s agricultural community as the Senate considers the 2012 Farm Bill. During the authorization of the 2008 Farm Bill, Brown traveled around the state to listen to Ohio’s farmers and take their ideas to Washington. Brown helped secure six major provisions that will improve and reform the farm safety net, support rural communities, promote renewable energy, encourage healthy diets, and protect natural resources.
Brown has held more 170 roundtables throughout the state, and he is the first Ohioan to serve on both the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and the Senate Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee. Agriculture is still Ohio’s largest industry.