Statement from Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst Regarding Emergency Programs and RMA Visit
"Missouri Farm Bureau thanks Gov. Jay Nixon for his recent steps to help Missouri farmers deal with this summer’s drought. The funding for emergency wells is welcome and the program has sparked a large amount of interest from Missouri farmers. The additional funding is appreciated, and we hope the governor will continue to do whatever is necessary to meet the needs of Missouri livestock farmers.
"Missouri Farm Bureau recently hosted a meeting with Bill Murphy, the head of the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). Murphy was in Missouri touring farms and evaluating crops. The meeting was informative, and Missouri farmers should be aware of the following facts.
- It’s important that farmers stay in close contact with their insurance providers. If farmers are salvaging corn, they should contact their agents and leave check strips. If the farmer believes the crop is a total loss, he or she should contact their insurance company and begin the claims process.
- Farmers should ask that their corn be checked for aflatoxin as they harvest the crop. The RMA has procedures to handle the presence of aflatoxin, and it’s important that farmers keep samples of their crop as they harvest.
- Farm Bureau has been concerned that mandatory audits, triggered by a $200,000 claim, will slow down the process of settling claims. Mr. Murphy assured the farmers in attendance that the claims and audit process will be handled efficiently and quickly. The audits will not be performed on more than 5 percent of claims. If it is necessary to increase the size of a claim that triggers an audit because of a large number of claims over $200,000, the RMA will do so.
- Because of provisions in the 2008 farm bill, farmers will receive crop insurance premium notices earlier than usual. The administration has granted farmers a two-month interest waiver. Farm Bureau believes interest should be waived on the premium owed, with the premium deducted from claims as they are settled.
"We appreciate Bill Murphy traveling to Missouri. There will be a tremendous number of claims in the state this year. Murphy assured local farmers the funding is available to meet the huge losses and the agency and private vendors of insurance are prepared to handle the increase in claims."