Senators Introduce Major Components To Farm Bill

Farm Bill

Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND), Max Baucus (D-MT), and John Hoeven (R-ND) unveiled the ‘Revenue Loss Assistance and Crop Insurance Enhancement Act of 2012,’ which is bipartisan legislation that reduces farm program complexity and duplication, strengthens the federal crop insurance program, permanently extends livestock disaster assistance, and serves as a major component of a new Farm Bill.

“This legislation achieves my two main goals in a new Farm Bill — it maintains a strong safety net for producers while, at the same time, contributing to deficit reduction,” Senator Conrad said. “This proposal complements crop insurance, is much easier to administer than current farm programs, and gives our family farmers the support and flexibility they need to succeed.”

The legislation creates the Revenue Loss Assistance Program, an initiative that combines Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance and Average Crop Revenue Election into one simpler and more effective program.

RLAP works in conjunction with crop insurance to provide farmers with assistance for losses between 12 and 25% of their average historic revenue.

An eligible loss can be due to any combination of decreased yields, declining prices or quality discounts.

RLAP is based on individual farm performance, rather than an area trigger, and assistance is provided on a commodity specific basis and is designed to address two of the primary shortcomings of the federal crop insurance: program deductibles that greatly exceed the operating margins for a crop and the lack of adequate coverage during multi-year price declines. RLAP provides assistance for farmers who suffered losses on acres planted for harvest at a 65% payment rate.

For acreage that was unable to be planted due to adverse weather, the payment rate is 45%.

Total acreage covered under RLAP for a producer will not be able to exceed that producer’s total base acres.

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