House Ag Leader Backs One-Time Aid for Flooded Grain
By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming
Agriculture.com - 4/10/2019
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said farmers ought to be considered for federal compensation for grain lost in flooded bins this spring. Perdue gave conditional support to compensation at nearly the same time the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee called for a one-time grain payment to flooded operators.
Insurance policies often cover grain bins and associated equipment such as augers to move the grain, but not the contents. The USDA says none of its disaster programs address flood damage to stored grain. Farmers are storing larger-than-usual amounts of grain on the farm because of a series of bumper corn and soybean crops and low commodity prices exacerbated by trade war.
“I think we can do a one-time thing to to try to help people with that,” House Agriculture chairman Collin Peterson told the North American Agricultural Journalists meeting at the Capitol. The Minnesota Democrat said the 2018 farm law and USDA disaster programs cover most eventualities but not stored grain, which cannot be sold for food use if contaminated by flooding because of the risk of mold and fungus. “But one thing that should come in here is you could have bought insurance. So this is something that is going to come up…” Disaster bills often require growers to buy crop insurance if they are compensated for crop losses.
Also on Capitol Hill, Perdue likened flooded grain bins to inundated grain fields. “If it’d been flooded prior to harvest, would we have compensated it? Yes. Just because its in the bin, does that make it different? They haven’t marketed that. I think that’s certainly something we should consider.”
Congress is scheduled to recess for two weeks on Friday, leaving disaster aid up in the air...