Hoeven: USDA Provides Crop Insurance Flexibility, Authorizes Emergency Procedures to Help Ensure Quick & Fair Adjustments

Senator Pressed for Flexibility during ND Drought Tour with RMA Acting Administrator

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) has authorized emergency procedures and issued new flexibilities for crop insurance providers to help ensure quick and fair adjustments and payments to producers. Hoeven pressed for this flexibility during his recent drought tour with RMA Acting Administrator Richard Flournoy, and it comes as part of the senator’s efforts to help producers weather severe drought conditions in North Dakota. Specifically, USDA is:

  • Allowing insurance companies to accept delayed notices of loss in certain situations.
  • Simplifying paperwork requirements for producers filing claims.
  • Providing flexibility on requirements for representative crop samples when damage is consistent.
  • Continuing to streamline the large indemnity review process to help prevent delays in producer payments while maintaining program integrity.

“Our producers are facing significant losses due to the widespread, severe drought in our region, and they need timely insurance payments to help maintain their operations and cover their costs,” Hoeven said. “We worked to advance this guidance and additional flexibility to help ensure adjustments can be made quickly and farmers won’t face delays. We appreciate RMA Acting Administrator Flournoy for working with us on this priority and heeding the feedback provided by North Dakota’s producers.”

Today’s announcement follows Hoeven’s efforts to provide flexibility to farmers when utilizing cover crops, which provide an additional source of feed for livestock producers. Following Flournoy’s visit to North Dakota earlier this month, RMA announced it will allow producers to hay, graze or chop cover crops on prevented plant acres at any time while still receiving their full crop insurance indemnity. Prior to this, producers would face a penalty for haying, grazing or chopping cover crops on prevented plant prior to November 1.

In addition, Hoeven continues working to secure further disaster assistance for farmers and ranchers, including urging Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to allow both emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres in North Dakota before August 1 at full capacity. CRP acres in 50 North Dakota counties are currently eligible to be grazed at limited capacity, but are not eligible to be hayed. In a recent letter to Vilsack, Hoeven led the delegation in stressing the risk of poor forage conditions if producers wait until the required date to hay.  

Producers should contact their crop insurance agent or visit RMA’s Drought Damaged Crops webpage to learn more about today’s announcement.