Hoeven: USDA Needs to Follow Up SCO for Wheat and Durum with Implementation for All Commodities in All Counties

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) will begin new Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), available through the federal crop insurance program, with the 2015 crop year. The SCO covers spring and durum wheat for all North Dakota counties. USDA is slated to announce the counties selected for other commodities later this summer, and Hoeven is pressing the agency to cover all North Dakota counties.

Hoeven recently sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack urging the timely implementation of SCO for all insurable crops in all counties in order to provide North Dakota farmers with this important risk management tool. Hoeven also advocated for the 2014 farm billto include SCO as an important crop insurance provision designed to strengthen and expand insurance coverage options for producers.

“Passing a strong, long-term farm bill has been a top priority to ensure that our producers have the confidence and tools needed to run their operations,” Hoeven said. “Including enhanced crop insurance provisions in the farm bill was important for North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers who need a strong safety net to effectively manage the market and weather volatility. This announcement that Supplemental Coverage Option will be available for next year’s wheat and durum crops is an important first step; now it needs to be followed up with implementation of SCO in all counties for all commodities.”

Through his roles on the farm bill conference committee and the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, Hoeven has worked hard to ensure the 2014 farm bill includes enhanced crop insurance for producers. The farm bill includes a strong safety net for producers and retains current individual crop insurance. In addition, it enhances crop insurance by helping farmers improve their yield history under the current program and by creating a new SCO. The SCO is designed to help strengthen and expand insurance coverage options for producers, enabling them to purchase a supplemental policy beyond their individual farm-based policy and protecting them from market volatility. The new SCO will be available for corn, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans and spring barley. Additional details related to SCO for 2015 wheat crops can be found through RMA’s website at www.rma.usda.gov. North Dakota producers of winter wheat are encouraged to contact their crop insurance agents regarding eligibility.