Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today introduced legislation that would provide emergency agricultural assistance for producers who are suffering from too much rainfall on their operations. Johnson’s legislation would ensure that producers who receive prevented planting benefits are able to plant a secondary crop for emergency use only without sacrificing any of their prevented planting assistance.
“Given the enormous amount of rainfall, producers had fewer acres to plant this past spring and summer. In the future, my bill would allow producers to plant a second crop for emergency livestock feed without losing their prevented planting benefits. This practical bill helps farmers help themselves, and provides a real solution to a very real problem,” Johnson said.
Currently, producers are not able to plant and access a second crop after receiving these benefits without losing 65% of their prevented planting compensation and also an Actual Production History (APH) of 60% of the crop involved.
To qualify, farmers must own livestock; may only use the second crop for their own livestock as emergency feed; and have experienced more moisture than normal that prevented them from planting their intended first crop by the Risk Management Agency’s “final planting date” for that crop.
Johnson has introduced the legislation in advance of the next round of farm bill discussions, which will begin next year.
The following page includes detailed information on the legislation.
Senator Johnson’s Legislation to Allow for the Access to Emergency Feeds from a Secondary Crop on Prevented Planting Acres
What is the goal of Senator Johnson’s legislation?
Senator Johnson’s legislation works to implement fiscally-responsible emergency agricultural assistance. Producers who experience excessive precipitation during the planting season and who have received prevented planting benefits on the first crop they attempted to plant would, under Senator Johnson’s legislation, be able to plant and use a secondary crop for their own emergency feed purposes without experiencing a reduction in prevented planting benefits.
Why is legislation necessary to allow a producer to access a second crop without penalty?
Typically, a producer is penalized for planting a second crop and accessing that crop prior to the end of the crop year, which RMA interprets as November 1st, with a 65% reduction in prevented planting benefits and a recorded Actual Production History (APH) of 60% of the crop involved. This penalty was implemented to ensure that a producer is prohibited from “double dipping,” generating revenue from a second crop after he/she already received compensation for being unable to plant the first crop.
However, the excessive precipitation which parts of South Dakota have faced this year has been enormously impactful on producers’ bottom lines. Senator Johnson believes that some flexibility is justifiable to ensure producers have adequate feedstuffs for their livestock for emergency purposes, which his legislation proposes in a very fiscally responsible manner.
What does the bill do?
Johnson’s bill amends the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-224) to allow for the planting and harvest of a secondary crop for a producer’s own use without diminishing prevented planting benefits to the producer from the inability to plant an initial crop.
The secondary crop planted for emergency purposes would only count as the crop of record if the producer so chooses. A “crop of record” is used for historical purposes to determine compensation in commodity programs, and previous disaster programs also included this choice.
Conditions which must be met by the producer to qualify for the planting of a secondary crop for his/her own use without a decrease in prevented planting benefits include the following:
1) The producer must own livestock.
2) The producer lives in an area which has experienced excessive precipitation which prevented them from planting an initial crop by the Risk Management Agency’s final planting date for a first crop.
3) The producer utilizes the secondary crop to satisfy the needs of owned livestock.
The RMA’s “final planting date” is the final date by which a producer can plant crops for complete coverage under RMA policies. Under the Senator’s bill, a secondary crop will count toward total farm revenue for any type of disaster payment calculated under other programs, which is fiscally responsible and may even decrease the Federal Government’s expenditures on disaster assistance.