Governor Jack Dalrymple today urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to modify its prevented planting program to help more farmers in the Devils Lake Basin who are losing farmland to rising flood waters.
Dalrymple met with William Murphy, Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency in Washington, D.C. and pressed for a policy change to better address the needs of farmers who suffer from long-term flooding in closed basins.
Current RMA policy does not allow farmers to receive prevented planting payments on any farmland flooded for more than two consecutive years. Dalrymple said the RMA should modify its policies so that farmers who lose land to flooding in closed basins can get the income assistance they need.
“The rising waters of Devils Lake have devastated the farmers in the Devils Lake region,” Dalrymple said. “Some farmers have lost 95 percent of their farm and have virtually no farm income while they are still obligated to pay real estate taxes and to make mortgage payments on that inundated land.
“What we’re asking for is a practical change in policy to make this program workable for farmers who find themselves in this unique situation,” he said.
Murphy’s initial response was that he did not have the latitude to make a regulation change regarded preventive planting. However, he suggested that a meeting of North Dakota insurance agents be organized to generate ideas on how to deal with the legal obstacles of the situation.
Source: office of Governor Dalrymple