USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey, Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and local farmers met in Washington D.C. last week to discuss updates to crop insurance and disaster aid. Quality problems challenged North Dakota farmers at harvest. Local farm groups like the North Dakota Grain Growers Association would like to see crop insurance discounts align with quality issues. They are also seeking a quality adjustment for the WHIP plus program. Northey says it can be a challenge to manage quality losses. “Which can be very different between producers and region to region. It’s especially different when you have lots of quality problems. It’s hard to get a discount table and crop insurance to match up when we have a year like this year.” The USDA is gathering more information, contemplating formulas and the differences of each region. “We’re still trying to investigate the possibilities to try and figure out what’s easiest for producers and also, what is fair.” According to North Dakota Grain Growers Association President Dennis Haugen, one takeaway from the meeting is that if farmers don’t get corn harvested, that ground will still be eligible for prevent plant in 2020. Conversations will continue this week.
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