Northern Plains Potato Growers Association President Donavon Johnson says the potato industry is still working out the details of disaster aid. Timing and when payments will be made are the unknowns. “Elected officials know how much of a priority this aid is not just in our area, but in other areas and commodities. It’s being worked on.” Some potato growers don’t have crop insurance, a potential challenge if they want to take advantage of the disaster aid. “The way I understand it is those who don’t have insurance can get up to 70 percent coverage, but then they have to buy crop insurance for the next two years at a minimum of 60 percent coverage,” explains Johnson. “For potatoes, that’s very expensive. We’d like to know if there is anything that can be done for those who don’t have insurance at a lesser amount than 70 percent that is truly a disaster relief.” The National Potato Council (NPC) is working with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to better understand the authorities and flexibility of the WHIP plus program. The NPC and FSA are interested in having a discussion. According to the NPC, no official meeting is scheduled at this time.
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