Legislation introduced this week in the Senate would provide farmers and ranchers with additional flexibility to alleviate feed shortages in years with widespread excessive moisture, flooding or drought.
The Feed Emergency Enhancement During Disasters with Cover Crops Act would create an emergency waiver authority for the Secretary of Agriculture to allow for haying, grazing or chopping of a cover crop on prevented plant acres before Nov. 1, in the event of a feed shortage due to extreme weather.
The bill states that under the waiver, producers would not see a reduction of their crop insurance indemnity. The legislation also directs the Agriculture Secretary to establish regional haying and grazing dates for each crop year. The current date, Nov. 1, is set on a nationwide basis and disadvantages producers in the upper Midwest.
Senators Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, and John Hoeven, a North Dakota Republican, introduced the legislation. Representatives Dusty Johnson, a South Dakota Republican, and Angie Craig, a Minnesota Democrat, introduced companion legislation in the House.
(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)