Governor Jay Nixon wants Missouri to sue the U.S. Department of Agriculture because he wants Missouri farmers to have more time to report acreage or lose eligibility for crop insurance. Nixon requested on Tuesday a 30-day extension from USDA for farmers to report that acreage to the Risk Management Agency, which oversees the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, but that request was denied.
For producers in northwest Missouri that deadline is today. Nixon says about 60-percent of Missouri farmers have not been able to report their acreage because of severe weather and flooding. An estimated 1.5-million acres of soybeans have not been planted.
“These numbers indicate that many farmers in Missouri are still making planting decisions and thus have not completed their reporting,” a statement from Nixon’s office says.
“The heavy rainfall and flooding recently experienced in Missouri makes it impossible for the majority of Missouri producers to meet the current deadlines,” wrote Nixon. “A simple extension is a reasonable request, and its denial by the USDA makes no sense. That’s why I’ve asked [Attorney General Chris Koster] to take action to prevent the federal government from enforcing this unreasonable deadline that would hurt the majority of Missouri’s farmers and our number one industry.”
“These unprecedented weather conditions will leave our farmers with drastically reduced yields during a time when commodity prices are already severely depressed,” said Nixon. “A deadline extension is critical to ensuring that farmers have proper and accurate insurance coverage so that Missouri farm families can endure these extreme conditions.”
Nixon encourages producers to keep submitting reports while litigation is pursued.