USA - Kennedy introduces bill to help Louisiana farmers recover from crop loss

17.05.2024 108 views

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today introduced the Quality Loss Adjustment Improvement for Farmers Act. The bill would give farmers more flexibility by improving the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC)’s ability to set discounts for farmers who experience crop loss.  

“Too often, federal insurers give American farmers short shrift when regional disasters damage their crops. The Quality Loss Adjustment Improvement for Farmers Act would make sure that fickle government policies don’t control the fate of Louisiana’s soybean farmers,” said Kennedy.

The Quality Loss Adjustment Improvement for Farmers Act would give the FCIC more latitude to review the methodology it uses to determine discounts for farmers who experience crop loss. It would give stakeholders input into the process of setting those discounts and require a report to be issued following the review. It would also allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) to establish a regional discount consideration that accounts for extreme weather events and natural disasters. 

Background:  

  • The FCIC, which the RMA manages, provides federal crop insurance policies to approved insurance providers to sell coverage to America’s farmers and ranchers.
  • The discounts provided to farmers who experience crop loss generally do not reflect the real damages farmers incur. This often leaves farmers without the flexibility they need to keep their farms afloat in the long run.
  • The FCIC does not take regional disasters into account when it calculates discounts.
  • In the face of recent weather-related challenges, weaknesses in FCIC policies have significantly handicapped Louisiana’s soybean farmers.

Rep. Julia Letlow (R-La.) is introducing the legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Farmers have to deal with extreme conditions and unpredictability during their seasons, and are unfortunately left without the support they need when faced with sudden crop losses. Soybean farmers in particular were negatively impacted by extreme weather and natural disasters in the fall of 2022. This bill will provide them with additional assistance during their most challenging times moving forward. I thank my friend Senator Kennedy for his collaboration to champion our agriculture industry across the state of Louisiana,” said Letlow.  

The Louisiana Farm Bureau supports Kennedy’s Quality Loss Adjustment Improvement for Farmers Act.  

"To see Senator Kennedy and Congresswoman Letlow stick with us through disasters, but then also not forget about those times once the storm clears, is a real testament to their representation of Louisiana Agriculture. Crop insurance can be a complicated issue, but these two members of the Louisiana delegation know the importance of protecting our tax payer resources, while also protecting our national food security. The Quality Loss Adjustment Improvement for Farmers Act does just that and is a huge step in the right direction as we enter a season of Farm Bill debate. Thank you doesn’t seem adequate, but we are very thankful for this bill and these members leadership,”said Louisiana Farm Bureau President Jim Harper.

Source - https://www.americanpress.com

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