Cooperatives request federal action on cover crops on prevented plant acres
Cooperative Network, the trade association representing cooperative businesses, and the four Farm Credit groups serving Wisconsin urged USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack to immediately waive the Nov. 1 date linked to harvesting or grazing cover crops on prevented plant acres.
The request was joined by the CEOs of AgStar Financial Services ACA, Badgerland Financial, Cooperative Network, GreenStone Farm Credit Services, and United FCS.
"As you know, Wisconsin and surrounding states have experienced an unusually wet spring, which has led to many corn acres that will not be planted. While at the same time, livestock farmers are also experiencing a severe shortage of forage due to last year's drought coupled with significant winter kill on alfalfa acres. This situation has left many cattle and dairy farmers with few options but to liquidate or downsize herds," stated the letter.
The group requested Sec. Vilsack's immediate action to lift the Nov. 1 date linked to Risk Management Agency (RMA) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) policies, which would serve as an incentive for all farmers to plant cover crops on prevented acres that will have multiple benefits, ranging from soil and water conservation to providing much needed forage for livestock farmers.
The letter also requested that farmers who plant forage crops on prevented plant acres be allowed to hay and/or graze those acres at any time with no prevented plant payment reduction.
For more information about Cooperative Network, visit www.cooperativenetwork.coop.