Agent asks Undersecretary to consider crop insurance changes

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Agent asks Undersecretary to consider crop insurance changes

A Wisconsin farmer who is also a crop insurance agent says USDA should have a separate guideline for insuring silage corn separate from grain corn because they are really two separate types of crops. Amy Penterman and her husband Sander produce milk near Thorp, Wisconsin, and as a crop insurance agent, Amy sees first-hand where USDA can improve their risk management programs. She says, “A lot of these silage-only varieties, you’re investing quite a bit into that seed because you’re getting the starches that you want, the sugars that you want, the higher digestibility, and it’s really important that we can protect that investment, and when you’re lumping it together with grain, you’re losing some of that risk management that you need.”

Penterman tells Brownfield she is concerned about some changes coming in the 2021 forage seeding policy. “Specifically, the fall forage seeding policy and how they’re going to be treating winterkill losses in the spring, and it can bring a huge detriment to the farmers when they think they may have a payable loss when they don’t, and there are some other tweaks that need to be done with the corn silage and the policy, also.”

And, Penterman says farmers should not have to rip up a damaged forage crop to qualify for some crop insurance relief. “If we do have losses, we can go in and interseed. We don’t have to tear up an entire field. And you know, that’s environmentally (wise) too. Be good stewards of the land by looking at how we can do things differently.”

Penterman spoke about the crop insurance issues during a recent Wisconsin farm visit with USDA Undersecretary Bill Northey.