LaCross said that due to various weather conditions impacting farms this year, his state has lost an estimated 90 percent of its apple crop, 85 percent of its grapes, 95 percent of its peaches and 85 percent of its cherries.
"If the committee's farm bill were in existence today, I would have the opportunity to cover more of my crops under crop insurance, using new programs that would provide better coverage at a lower cost," said LaCross. "It would also provide the ability to use more realistic production numbers by increasing the 'yield plug' in years like this one, when my production is going to be almost zero. Importantly, the bill also increases crop insurance assistance to beginning farmers.
"In a normal year, my farm would produce 4 million pounds of cherries. This year, we will be lucky to harvest 40,000 pounds-only 1 percent of my normal production," continued LaCross. "Crop insurance helps keep families like mine in business."
Further, it increases access to capital and prioritizes the needs of beginning farmers to ensure they have access to programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program-a program that is critical to farmers and ranchers striving to be good stewards of the land and trying to meet tough environmental mandates.
Lastly, the bill encourages older farmers to help beginning farmers get started in the business by providing two extra years of Conservation Reserve Program participation to retiring farmers who transition their expiring CRP land to beginning farmers.
|Copyright:||© 2012 Penton Media|
|Source:||Penton Business Media|