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USDA Holds 2014 Farm Bill Listening Section    

GA-MS_Farm_Bill_Listening_Sessions_Brandon_Willis-141030STONEVILLE, MS – Yesterday, the USA Rice Federation attended Farm Bill listening sessions here with staff members from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Senate Agriculture Committee.  Growers were invited to provide feedback and bring questions for USDA staff about the implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Among the concerns producers voiced to Risk Management Agency (RMA) staff were availability of the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) for 2016 and crop margin insurance product availability for rice and other crops.

"RMA is working to expand the Supplemental Coverage Option to additional crops and counties for 2016,” said Brandon Willis, Risk Management Agency Administrator.  “For rice, RMA hopes to include all counties that currently have a rice crop insurance policy.”

Recently, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board approved a margin protection pilot program which will be available for rice producers.

Questions were also raised regarding the rulemaking process to define “significant contribution of active personal management” which would further define which producers are eligible to participate in Farm Service Agency (FSA) commodity programs.  

FSA staff stated that once the Secretary’s proposed rule is published there will be ample time for public comment.  The final rule, they added, will not be implemented mid-crop year and could possibly be delayed until the 2016 crop year to ensure public comments are considered and FSA staff have time to correctly implement the rule.

Photo caption: Brandon Willis of the USDA 

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