President’s Blog – Farmers Union Supports Fellow Farmers After Extreme Weather Wipes Out Crops in Kansas and Other States

A recent storm in Kansas that dumped up to two feet of snow and affected up to 3 million acres of winter wheat in the Great Plains has driven the price of wheat up. In the Midwest and Mid-south non- stop rain has led to flooding of recently planted corn and soybeans. The market responded with wheat closing up 28 1/2 cents Friday. This devastating weather comes as final planting dates for federal crop insurance is just weeks away. In Montana the planting date to be eligible for crop insurance for wheat is May 31.

We feel for the farmers in those regions. Crop insurance will help with replanting, but it won’t come close to covering the cost of those lost crops. Unfortunately it takes someone else’s misfortune to drive up the price of wheat. This is not something we celebrate. Rather, we feel compassion for those farmers which is what Farmers Union is and has always been about, fighting for family farms.

Crop insurance can be expensive, but is most likely the best risk management tool a farmer has available. According to the United States Department of Agriculture insurable types of wheat in Montana include: spring and winter wheat, durum and Khorasan. However this protection does vary by county. The USDA lists causes of losses covered to include: adverse weather conditions; change in harvest price; failure of irrigation water supply if caused by an insured peril occurring during the insurance period; fire; insects and plant diseases, but not damage due to insufficient or improper application of control measures; and wildlife. For more information on insurable types and practices in your county visit the USDA’s website or contact your local Farmers Union Insurance agent.

This protection is why Montana Farmers Union is fighting to maintain provisions like crop insurance in the next Farm Bill to help provide Montana producers some relief in the case of a disaster. Our hearts go out to the farmers in Kansas and other affected states. We might not be able to provide monetary support, but we can show our fellow farmers to the south and Midwest that we stand behind them.

-President Alan Merrill