As Farm Prices Slump Due to Coronavirus, U.S. Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce USDA Crop Insurance Flexibilities to Support Producers

WASHINGTON, D.C. [03/30/20]—U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (D-Minn.)—both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee—said that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) is providing flexibilities to support producers who are facing slumping commodity prices and a possible labor shortage due to COVID-19.

These accommodations include additional time and deferring interest on premium and other payments, extending the date for production reports, and enabling producers to send notifications and reports electronically.  

“Minnesotans across the state are facing economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic and that includes our farmers,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “As the backbone of our state’s economy, farmers need our support during periods of uncertainty. This added flexibility from USDA will help ensure that the impacts from coronavirus will not jeopardize the crop insurance services farmers rely upon. I encourage farmers with questions to contact their local crop insurance agent.”

“We need to do everything we can to help families, farms and businesses across Minnesota during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sen. Smith. “I’m glad to see the USDA take this additional step to support Minnesota producers as they face extreme uncertainty.

“And I know that farm families are under a lot of mental and financial stress. Remember that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you or someone you know could benefit from help, I urge you to turn to your local FSA office or call mental health assistance. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has a free, confidential helpline open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll-free number is (833) 600-2670.”

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