Passes Farm Bill with Alfalfa Crop Insurance Amendment
On Monday, the Senate passed its version of the 2013 Farm Bill which included an important amendment for alfalfa and forage producers. The amendment, introduced by Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), directs the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) to conduct research and development regarding a policy to insure alfalfa, and issue a report describing the results of the study. Sen. Moran's amendment passed by a margin of 72-18.
"As the nation's 4th most valuable crop, alfalfa is critical to our nation's food supply," said Beth Nelson, NAFA President. "We are very grateful for Senator Moran's recognition of the importance of alfalfa and the need its producers have for a bona fide risk management tool."
Although alfalfa is one of America's most valuable crops behind only corn, soybean and wheat it is not a Title I or program crop' and does not enjoy the type of safety net that is generally afforded to other program crops. Due in part to this fact, alfalfa acreage has declined 25% since 2002 and 10% in 2012 alone.
"Senator Moran has been a real champion for the U.S. alfalfa industry," added Robin Newell, NAFA Chairman. "Working with RMA to develop a crop insurance program producers find valuable and are eager to utilize will be a huge benefit to both producers and consumers. It's clear Senator Moran understands the critical role alfalfa plays in beef and dairy production, as well as the myriad environmental benefits it provides. It is essential that alfalfa achieve parity with the risk management tools available to other major crops."