As a result of the 2014 Farm Bill, which Dr. Benishek helped craft as a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, specialty crop farmers now have expanded access to crop insurance. In addition, all farmers, regardless of the types of crops they produce, must ensure that meet conservation compliance requirements in order to maintain eligibility for crop insurance subsidies. These changes help to ensure that there will be less soil erosion and that wetlands will be protected in agricultural areas.
In order to continue to qualify for crop insurance, all farmers, including specialty crop producers like cherry and apple farmers, must complete a form AD-1026 with their local USDA service center by June 1st. The form is available at local USDA service center or online at www.fsa.usda.gov/AD1026form.
"From cherries to apples to grapes grown for wine, there are a number of specialty crop farmers in our district who could benefit from this program. Agriculture brings jobs to our community, and I am committed to ensuring that this section of our economy remains strong," said Congressman Benishek.
The Michigan Farm Bureau is also encouraging local farmers to participate.
"If land is not covered by a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form (AD-1026) filed with the USDA Service Center by that date, farmers will become ineligible for premium support for federal crop insurance and other programs. If farmers are looking for additional information, we encourage them to visit our website for details." - Laura Campbell, Manager Ag Ecology Department, Michigan Farm Bureau
Any farmers who have questions about this process are encouraged to call Congressman Benishek's office at 202-225-4735.