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Senate Ag Committee Leaders Call for Expansion of Margin Protection Tools

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) and Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) are urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to accelerate the expansion of margin protection tools to help more producers address the increased risk associated with elevated production costs such as fuel and fertilizers.

In a letter to Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, and Marcia Bunger, Administrator of USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), the senators ask for expansion of options beyond those currently only available to dairy, cattle, swine, rice, soybeans, corn and wheat so that producers of additional commodities can proactively manage risk. The senators also call on RMA to increase risk management education for both producers and agents.

“Many farmers are underway in their planning for fall fertilizer applications. Prioritizing the thoughtful and timely expansion of margin protection plans of insurance for additional commodities, as well as related insurance products designed for specialty crops, would allow producers the opportunity to familiarize themselves with these tools and better manage production cost risks by next fall,” the senators wrote.

The letter in its entirety can be read here.