Today, U.S. Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin introduced legislation to improve the prevented planting provisions in insurance policies, which will offer assistance to agricultural producers who have been prevented from planting due to excessive moisture on their acreage. The bill will assist South Dakota farmers and ranchers who experience seasonal flooding and allow producers who receive prevented planting benefits to plant and harvest a secondary crop as emergency feed without diminishing their prevented planting benefits. Senator Tim Johnson introduced the same legislation in the Senate.
"Seasonal flooding has prevented planting across numerous acres in South Dakota this year, and this important program needs the improvement this legislation provides to better serve South Dakota producers," said Herseth Sandlin. "This bill will allow South Dakota producers the flexibility to plant a secondary forage crop on their prevented planting acres without incurring penalties due to the lack of forage acres from excessive flooding this year."
The legislation responds to the needs of South Dakota producers who have faced a lack of forage due to the number of acres that qualified for prevented planting benefits from the extensive flooding this spring. Prevented planting provides producers a payment when, due to inclement weather conditions, they are prevented from planting a crop. Under Herseth Sandlin's legislation, a producer is eligible for the emergency program if the producer owns livestock, uses the secondary crop as emergency feed solely for the producer's own livestock, and the producer has incurred more moisture than normal that prevented the planting of their intended first crop by the Risk Management Agency's final planting date for that crop.
Earlier this year, Herseth Sandlin joined the South Dakota delegation in urging the Risk Management Agency (RMA) to grant producers the flexibility to plant a secondary crop on their prevented planting acres without incurring penalties. RMA responded that legislative action was needed to allow producers this flexibility.