Tipton Requests Drought Relief for San Luis Valley Farmers
WASHINGTON, DC –Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) is requesting additional relief for farmers affected by the extreme drought conditions in the San Luis Valley and in the Western United States.
In a letter to Administrator William Murphy of the Risk Management Agency in the US Department of Agriculture, Tipton urges that farmers who filed Prevented Planting claims in 2012 through their Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) policies not be penalized in 2013 claims.
The formula to determine the value of a claim takes into account the number of acres that would normally be planted (based on the previous year). Under that formula, farmers that reduced the number of acres planted in 2012 because of extreme drought conditions, and filed a Prevented Planting claim to cover losses, would be penalized if filing a 2013 Prevented Planning claim because of the decrease in the number of acres planted the previous year.
“While I understand the safeguards of the Prevented Planting system, I believe these farmers deserve consideration due to the extenuating circumstances caused by the ongoing drought. Assuring that a farmer’s Prevented Planting claim for the upcoming 2013 crop season is not adversely impacted by a claim paid in the 2012 policy year upholds the original intent of the program, and would provide much needed certainty to Western farmers,” Tipton wrote. “Relaxing this Risk Management Agency policy for a single crop year would allow the farmers of the San Luis Valley to weather the ongoing drought, and will make an enormous economic difference in the region.”