Hoeven Presses USDA Secretary for Enhanced Crop Insurance, Workable Prevented Plant Rules

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week pressed U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack for strong crop insurance programs and a commitment to make the prevented plant program work for producers. Hoeven questioned Vilsack at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Related Agencies.

“Agriculture is stepping up and providing budget savings, so it will be very important that crop insurance is there for our producers in a solid way going forward,” said Hoeven.

Following Hoeven’s roundtable meetings last week with North Dakota agriculture groups and Acting USDA Risk Management Administrator Brandon Willis, the Senator pressed Secretary Vilsack for a commitment to make prevented plant program rules clear and workable for producers.

“Producers must plant and harvest a crop one out of four years in order to be eligible for prevented plant under crop insurance. There are other rules that make prevented plant very, very confusing,” said Hoeven. “We need to ensure that prevented plant rules are clear and we need your commitment to work with us to make them workable for our producers.”

Secretary Vilsack committed to work with Hoeven and RMA Administrator Willis to make the program more efficient and effective.

Hoeven is also a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which is expected to consider the Farm Bill in the coming weeks. The Senate Agriculture Committee will use as its starting point for the new farm bill the legislation Senator Hoeven worked to craft last year with other members of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee. A top Hoeven priority is the inclusion of enhanced crop insurance, which farmers and ranchers across North Dakota and the country have indicated they need for effective risk management.