11.16.10

AT SCHUMER'S URGING FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO EXPAND SOYBEAN CROP INSURANCE TO 14 UPSTATE COUNTIES, ALLOWING FARMERS TO EXPAND INTO INCREASINGLY LUCRATIVE CROP

In June, Schumer Called USDA Secretary Vilsack and Asked Him to Expand Soybean Insurance to More Upstate CountiesExpanded Insurance Program Will Allow More NYS Farmers to Produce Increasingly Profitable CropSoybean Insurance Will Be Expanded in Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Otsego, St. Lawrence, Tioga and Washington

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has agreed to expand soybean crop insurance to 14 New York counties after a public push by Schumer which included a personal call to USDA Secretary Vilsack in June. Today's announcement by USDA will expand this essential insurance program to Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Otsego, St. Lawrence, Tioga and Washington counties, and will allow farmers to expand into this lucrative industry. 

 

"Today's announcement by the USDA is a major win for our farmers who will finally have an easier time expanding into this lucrative crop," Schumer said. "In June, I called Secretary Vilsack and told him that soybeans could take off in New York if our farmers got USDA insurance - widely available in other parts of the country and now this can happen. I want to thank Secretary Vilsack for being so responsive to the needs of New York's farmers."

 

Agriculture producers seeking to manage risk may purchase insurance for their crops. USDA's Risk Management Agency pays a portion of producers' premium costs for insurance policies and also pays some of the delivery and administrative costs of private insurance companies that handle policy sales, thus ensuring local farmers have the necessary protection against risk to grow the crop. Soybean coverage had previously not been offered in many parts of Upstate New York, forcing producers to rely on catastrophic coverage, higherpriced private coverage, or go without insurance. Also, without inclusion in the federal insurance program many farmers were unable to take on the risk of producing this new crop sidelining the type of entrepreneurship needed to create jobs and grow regional economies.

 

In June, Schumer urged Secretary Vilsack to give Upstate farmers the same tools that other producers across the country have and today's announcement will finally allow Upstate farmers to invest in this increasingly profitable crop.  

 

According to the USDA, the U.S. has over 70 million acres of land that produces well over 2.5 million bushels of soybean annually. Better protecting our soybean crops by expanding the federal government's insurance program will likely increase production as profitability increases. During the last period where statistics have been finalized (20062007), the price of a bushel of soybeans jumped over 57% making today's announcement of a robust soybean insurance program for farmers in Upstate New York all the more important.



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