FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gov. Hutchinson Follows Up with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in Letter
Regarding Rice Replanting and USDA Assistance
LITTLE ROCK – Today, Governor Asa Hutchinson sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue regarding dates for replanting rice and the state’s need for assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the wake of recent heavy rains and floods.
In the letter, which can be found HERE, the governor thanks the secretary for his recent visit to the state “to see firsthand the devastating flooding that is taking a significant toll on our producers across the state.”
The governor asks Secretary Perdue’s assistance in loosening new insurance-company rules that require rice farmers to replant their crop by June 9 in order to remain eligible for insurance.
The governor noted that scientists and consultants have said that planting in June reduces the yield by 30 percent or more.
“The problem is compounded by the lack of desirable rice varieties available by the time replanting could start,” Gov. Hutchinson wrote.
Producers must be free to base their replanting schedule on advice from consultants and experts that is specific to local conditions, not an arbitrary date set by a crop insurance program, he wrote.
“Excessive, additional financial hardship will be placed upon producers already facing significant challenges if this needed flexibility is not provided,” Gov. Hutchinson wrote.
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