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Deadline for farm crop insurance looms

Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee told farmers that there is a change in the new federal Farm Bill that links insuring all crops on farms to future disaster payments. Because of this change, it is imperative that Vermont farmers sign up all fall-planted crops for crop insurance by Sept. 30. Any Vermont farmer who wants to be eligible for disaster assistance on any 2009 crops, including corn, must have crop insurance coverage on all insurable fall plantings before Sept. 30, said Allbee. This is a new requirement that all farmers must complete to be eligible for federal assistance next year. With the uncertainty of the weather, this change is key as more farmers need to contemplate whether crop insurance and disaster payments are necessary for the viability of their business. Sept. 30 is the deadline in Vermont for crops, including hay containing more than 25 percent alfalfa. If producers fail to enroll any of their 2008 fall seeded crops and perennial crops, they will be ineligible for disaster payments on 2009 crops planted in the spring of 2009, even if they buy insurance for those crops. The 2008 Farm Bill created an Agricultural Disaster Trust Fund, of which a major part will finance Supplemental Revenue Assistance (SURE) payments.

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