The USDA Risk Management Agency has reduced the number of crop samples per acre that have to be maintained for insurance appraisal under center pivot irrigation – a move that Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman says will help producers conserve water.
"We appreciate RMA's willingness to work with the Kansas Water Office, the Kansas Department of Agriculture and farmers and ranchers on a solution to conserve water in Kansas," Rodman said. "Water conservation is a priority for the state and this policy will encourage producers to be more efficient with their water while still allowing irrigation and access to critical risk management tools."
Kansas farmers, who have been severely challenged for the past several years with ongoing intense drought, have argued for at least two seasons that RMA rules on the number of crop samples that must be maintained have forced them to keep pouring water on crops that they know are dead.
Conserving water for necessary acres
The new RMA rule will allow for fewer samples per acre to be maintained, which will allow farmers to shut off center pivots to acres that they know cannot make grain, thereby conserving water.
This adjustment to USDA-RMA's Loss Adjustment Manual will allow for producers to more accurately determine and aggregate representative sample areas and conserve irrigated water, energy and operating costs when using center pivot irrigation systems.
"RMA has made great improvements to its process for providing an adequate crop sample under center-pivot irrigation," said Tracy Streeter, Director of the Kansas Water Office. "This will allow producers to minimize the amount of water necessary to irrigate failed or damaged crops for insurance purposes."
More information regarding changes with the RSAs when acreage is contained in a center pivot irrigation system is available at the USDA-RMA website.