Hoeven Calls on USDA Risk Management Agency To Cover Devils Lake Farmers

WASHINGTON –Senator John Hoeven today called on Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator William Murphy to adjust the agency’s current crop insurance rules to make the Prevented Planting provision more accessible to Devils Lake farmers. Hoeven pressed the case to the administrator, along with Governor Jack Dalrymple and North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. RMA is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Prevented Planting provisions in crop insurance policies provide coverage when extreme weather conditions prevent expected plantings. Currently the rule does not allow Prevented Planting claims on any farm land inundated for more than two years in a row. 

In anticipation of lower lake levels owing to water management projects now underway by the state and/or natural reductions, the Senator, Governor and Agriculture Commissioner are asking that the RMA allow all farmland be eligible at a lake elevation of 1446 feet, the level in 1999. Hoeven met with Murphy in Washington last month to press for favorable crop insurance terms for Devils Lake farmers. 

Hoeven said Prevented Planting is one more tool that can be used to help area farmers. He is also pressing the USDA to make the Wetlands Recovery Program (WRP) work more effectively for landowners in the Devils Lake area, who are losing valuable farm land due to flooding. The WRP is a voluntary program that gives farmers financial support for maintaining wetlands on qualified acreage.