Focus on Ag

USDA Lowers 2012 Yield Estimates, Announces Disaster Assistance


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On July 11, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced some measures to assist producers suffering from the impacts of drought and other natural disasters. Over 1,000 counties in 26 states were designated as primary disaster counties. There were no designated counties in Minnesota or Iowa, but that could likely change as the drought continues to worsen. Counties in the designated areas and adjoining counties are eligible for low interest FSA disaster loans, at an interest rate of 2.25%, which was reduced from a previous level of 3.75%. It also opens up CRP land in the designated counties for haying and grazing, with a 10% reduction in annual CRP rental rates, which was lowered from a previous reduction of 25% in CRP rental rates.

Some U.S. Senators have also called for funding of the Supplemental Revenue Assistance (SURE) Program for the 2012 crop year. The SURE program, also called the “permanent disaster program,” was implemented as part of the 2008 Farm Bill to cover crop and livestock losses, not covered by crop insurance and other federal programs. Funding for the SURE program ended with the 2011 crop year, and there are no provisions in the Farm Bill proposals passed by the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House Ag Committee to restore SURE funding for 2012. The SURE program could offer up to a maximum of $100,000 for each eligible producer in designated disaster counties.


Editor’s note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at

Discuss this Blog Entry 3

on Jul 21, 2012

I think most farmers with crop insurance will survive the loss. But those that chose to no buy insurance will need deep pockets to make it. Without the SURE payment it will be tight for those with insurance, but government spending has to be slowed or we(US) will be bankrupt. If we aren't already.

on Feb 24, 2014

The drought in 2012 is rapidly moving toward the crop loss levels in those previous years.

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on Mar 14, 2014

which was planted in examcollection 642-185 mid-March and suffered frost destroy the second week of April, this 642-185 vce questions crop is in tiny danger of frost destroy. As April progresses, chances of frost drop to low levels by the finish of the month in all but the northern fringe of New york. vce 642-185

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