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RMA Provides Flexibility for Farmers Facing Delayed Harvest
North Dakota Ag Connection - 12/07/2018

Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Thursday announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) is providing flexibility for farmers who have been unable to complete harvest prior to December 10, the end date for insurance policies covering most spring-planted crops, including corn and soybeans. This action comes after Hoeven spoke with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and wrote to the RMA, urging them to issue guidance to farmers, insurance companies and loss adjustors on properly processing delayed crops and filing claims as harvest continues past the deadline. The full text of Hoeven's letter to the RMA can be found here.

"Our farmers need to know that their insurance policies will cover them when facing long delays in harvest," said Hoeven. "We appreciate Secretary Perdue, Under Secretary Northey and RMA Administrator Barbre for working with us to issue this guidance prior to the December 10th deadline. Doing so provides much-needed certainty for our agriculture producers as they work through bad weather and difficult conditions to bring this year's crop out of the field."

"I appreciate Chairman Hoeven's focus on the needs of our farmers and his efforts to get this guidance to them so they can continue to farm even after bad weather hurts their operations," said USDA Farm Production and Conservation Under Secretary Bill Northey.

Due to excessive moisture and snowy conditions, which have continuously delayed this year's harvest, North Dakota had approximately one million acres of corn and 500,000 acres of soybeans still out for harvest at the end of November, much of which will likely remain in the field when the deadline passes. Farmers should contact their insurance agent to discuss extending the time period for attempting harvest and settling any losses based on harvested production. Under RMA's guidance, approved insurance providers may allow additional time to harvest when the following conditions are met:

- Farmers give timely notice of loss to their crop insurance agent;

- The approved insurance provider determines and documents that the delay in harvest was due to an insured cause of loss;

- Farmers demonstrate that harvest was not possible due to insured causes; and

- The delay in harvest was not due to a lack of sufficient equipment or manpower to harvest the crop by the end of the insurance period.

More information on requesting assistance due to delayed harvest can be found on the RMA's website.

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