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USDA encouraged to provided farmers with flexibility

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Jun 17, 2019 at 10:24 AM

WASHINGTON —  During a Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing last week, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) pushed a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) official to provide Ohio farmers with flexibility as they struggle to plant their crops after torrential rains and flooding in the Midwest this spring.

During the hearing, Brown pressed USDA Chief Economist Dr. Robert Johansson on the importance of providing flexibility for farmers to plant later than normal for coverage and to be eligible for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP). Brown also urged USDA to ensure Federal Crop Insurance provides flexibility to allow earlier haying, grazing and harvest of forage from cover crops without penalty. Brown pushed Johansson to commit to this request.

Johansson recognized the issue and said he would look into it.

“After one of the wettest springs on record, Ohio farmers are struggling this season,” Brown said. “USDA should do everything in its power to ensure Ohio farmers have the flexibility they need to cope with damages to their crops and this Administration needs to make sure the farm safety net works for our state.”

Brown has been a supporter for farmers and rural communities, successfully securing a number of provisions that are important to Ohio farmers in the 2018 Farm Bill.

Brown is the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in more than 50 years.

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