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FarmFirst Co-op Endorses 'FEEDD Act'
Michigan Ag Connection - 06/11/2019

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative is expressing its support for the newly-introduced Feed Emergency Enhancement During Disasters Act, or FEEDD Act. Co-sponsored by Reps. Angie Craig of Minnesota and Dusty Johnson from South Dakota, the measure gives farmers additional emergency flexibility to help alleviate feed concerns, as well as promote conservation in years of excessive moisture, flooding and drought.

"After the spring season we've just experienced, this legislation is welcome to allow farmers the chance to make the most of what they can of this growing season," said FarmFirst Board President John Rettler. "Feed inventories were greatly diminished with the excessive flooding earlier this spring. Whatever inventories dairy and beef farmers had built up over the past few years became pretty valuable after the weather we had late last year. The slow and incredibly wet start to this planting and growing season didn't help matters either."

Under the Federal Crop Insurance Program, producers that are unable to plant a crop due to adverse conditions are eligible to receive a small indemnity, but are prohibited from growing a cash commodity due to a missed window in the growing season. They can plant the ground to cover but there is a prohibition on haying and grazing before November 1. Producers can elect to hay or graze the cover but must take another discount on their indemnity, although the forage value is far less than a commodity crop.

The FEEDD Act would create an emergency waiver authority for the Secretary of Agriculture to allow for haying, grazing or chopping of a cover crop before November 1 in the event of a feed shortage due to excessive moisture, flood or drought without producers taking a further discount on their crop insurance.

Additionally, the bill provides emergency forage for personal use or donation for family farmers and ranchers when devastating weather hits, and enhance the overall farm safety net for diversified crop and livestock producers.

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