On top of the many changes the world has seen these past few months, NDCGA has been busy with its own staffing transformation. Two new staff members were recently hired, filling the gaps in the Fargo office.
Taking on the role of Executive Director is Brenda Elmer, who joined the Association in April. Brenda oversees the effective operation of the Association and serves as the point of contact for state and national policy issues affecting North Dakota’s corn industry.
Brenda is a graduate of Hamline University Graduate School in St. Paul, MN, with a master’s degree in public administration, and Minnesota State University Moorhead where she got her undergraduate degrees in both mass communications and political science.
She has more than years of public policy experience at the federal, state, and local levels. She previously served as the North Dakota regional director for a national construction association, and she also worked for an international non-profit based in Fargo doing project management and government relations. She worked at the Minnesota legislature as a policy staffer, a regional director for a Minnesota member of Congress, and was a local elected city council member. Brenda grew up on a corn, soybean, and beef cattle farm in northeastern South Dakota.
“We are excited to have Ms. Elmer lead our Association. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise in management and in the advocacy arena and will no doubt put that to work promoting the corn industry in our state and in Washington, D.C.” stated North Dakota Corn Growers Association President Rob Hanson.
Completing the Association staff is Kari Schiefelbein. She started in June as the new Growers Services Specialist. Her responsibilities include overseeing and promoting membership, managing finances, and creating content for social media, the NDCGA website, and the CornTalk magazine.
Prior to joining the Association, Kari grew up on her family’s farm, Schiefelbein Farms, in central Minnesota where they raise Black Angus cattle. Kari moved to Fargo/Moorhead to attend Minnesota State University Moorhead from which she recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and mass communications.
President Hanson also noted, “Kari has hit the ground running in services to our growers, working hard on events and publications and membership in the first weeks on the job. She comes with a fresh perspective and experience in communications that will help take the Association to the next level.”
The Expo is a full day of FREE events designed to make you a better producer, all under one roof – the Fargodome. The Expo features informative breakout sessions on current issues affecting your operation, nationally-acclaimed speakers covering important topics and a trade show featuring companies showcasing emerging technologies and products. You will have the opportunity to network with your peers and industry experts at these sessions and during a provided breakfast and lunch. Read on to discover just what Expo has to offer you! (more…)
North Dakota Corn Growers Association Vice President Paul Thomas of Velva, ND shared his thoughts with Mick Kjar about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renewable Volume Obligations’s (RVO) rule. This ruling set the fuel volume requirements for the coming year, including accounting for 2020 refinery waivers. Listen to Paul’s full interview here or click the box below.
Q: What should the insured do if there are unharvested acres of corn at the calendar date for the end of insurance period (EOIP), which is September 30th for silage and December 10th for grain?
A: File a timely notice of loss with their crop insurance agent for any damage due to an insurable cause of loss on or before the calendar date for the EOIP for all unharvested corn, which may result in the following determination(s) by Approved Insurance Providers (AIP) in accordance with the Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) procedures:
- AIPs may authorize policyholders, on a case-by-case basis, more time to attempt to harvest the crop so claims can be settled based on harvested production in accordance with subparagraph 702B of the Loss Adjustment Manual Standards Handbook (LAM). An AIP may allow additional time to harvest when the following conditions are met:
- The insured provides a timely notice of loss to their crop insurance agent;
- The AIP determines and documents that the delay in harvest was due to an insured cause of loss;
- The insured demonstrates that harvest was not possible due to insured causes; and
- The delay in harvest was not because the insured did not have sufficient equipment or manpower to harvest the crop by the EOIP.
- AIPs may make final inspections in accordance with paragraph 702 of the AIPs will account for all insured acres of the crop that were harvested or unharvested and appraised. This will include applying quality adjustment as outlined in the Coarse Grains Crop Provisions (CP), applicable State/County Special Provisions, and the Corn Loss Adjustment Standards Handbook.
- AIPs may require the insured to leave representative sample areas in accordance with paragraph 924 of the Representative sample areas are used when deferred appraisals (subparagraph 921B of the LAM) are required and the insured requests immediate release of the acreage.
- AIPs may settle claims based on the appraisal from the remaining unharvested acres. Follow LAM procedure regarding final disposition of a crop.
Q: Can an insured harvest past the calendar date for the EOIP?
A: Yes. The AIP may authorize additional time to complete loss adjustment due to an insured peril preventing harvest by the calendar date for the EOIP, including additional time to harvest the crop on a case-by-case basis, as explained above.
Q: Is the insured required to harvest all corn acreage in order for the AIP to complete the claim?
A: No, AIPs may complete a claim based on an appraisal of unharvested acreage in accordance with subparagraph 921A of the LAM.
Q: What if an insured cannot mechanically harvest the crop acreage due to an insurable cause of loss?
A: Subparagraph 921D of the LAM includes procedure for determining unable to mechanically harvest. No production will be counted for acreage that is determined unable to mechanically harvest. If mechanical harvest is feasible with normal harvest methods/equipment on any portion of the unharvested acreage, the AIP can appraise and count only the production that could have been mechanically harvested. Wet field conditions, snow covered fields, or inaccessible roads/bridges that prevent harvest of the crop by the calendar date for the EOIP does not mean the acreage can never be mechanically harvested with normal harvest methods/equipment. This may only be a temporary condition. Likewise, the fact that it would cost more to harvest the crop than the crop is worth does not constitute that the insured is unable to mechanically harvest the crop.
Q: Can AIPs use harvested production from representative sample areas for appraised production and to obtain samples for quality adjustment determinations?
A: Yes, subparagraph 921C of the LAM allows for harvested representative sample appraisals.
Q: If the acreage is appraised (vs. harvested) and put to another use, what effect is there on the Actual Production History (APH) database?
A: Refer to subparagraph 1304E of the Crop Insurance Handbook FCIC-18010. For any unharvested acreage, appraised potential production is included on the production report and used in the APH database. If acreage of the crop was destroyed/put to another use and an appraisal of the potential production was not made (not requested for APH database purposes or no claim), the production report will indicate the planted acres and a “zero” yield.
Q: Does quality adjustment include discounts for the moisture content of corn grain?
A: There are no quality discounts for moisture content. If moisture adjustment is applicable, it will be made prior to any adjustment for quality in accordance with section 11(d) of the Coarse Grains CP. Section 11(d) of the Coarse Grains CP specifies that corn production to count will be reduced by 0.12 percent for each 0.1 percentage point of moisture in excess of fifteen percent (15%), and if moisture exceeds thirty percent (30%), production will be reduced by 0.2 percent for each 0.1 percentage point of moisture in excess of thirty percent (30%).
Q: If corn grain has a test weight of 44.00 to 48.99 (on the discount factor chart in Section A of the Special Provisions) with no other eligible quality discounts, can the quality discount be determined by a reduction in value (RIV) if the corn grain is sold?
A: In accordance with the Special Provisions, the quality discount is determined by the discount factor chart in Section A of the Special Provisions for the applicable county and a RIV discount is not an option. See the following example test weight discount factor chart for reference:
Q: An insured’s corn grain production is damaged due to an insurable cause of loss and the production is rejected by the elevator/buyer due to low test weight. Is the damaged corn grain production eligible for an indemnity when there is no buyer for the production?
A: Every reasonable effort should be made by the insured and the AIP to find a market for the damaged corn grain production including:
- A determination if there are buyers outside of the local marketing area;
- Determination if livestock feeding operations or other types of salvage buyers are willing to buy the damaged production; and
- Fair consideration to deliver production to a market outside the insureds local marketing area (distant market) is equal to or greater than the production’s value at the distant market.
If a market still cannot be found for the damaged production, the AIP can make zero market value determinations in accordance with subparagraph 1102H of the LAM. A zero market value determination by the AIP will result in zero production to count for claims purposes, if the production is destroyed in an acceptable manner.
Q: Does zero market value procedure in the Special Provisions apply if the corn grain test weight is on the discount factor chart in Section A (44.00 through 48.99) and no viable salvage market can be found?
A: Zero market value procedure applies if the AIP determines there are insured quality deficiencies and there is no salvage market. However, if the corn grain test weight is 49.00 and above (having no insured quality deficiencies), then zero market value procedure would not be applicable.
Q: If the AIP determines there is zero market value production due to insured quality deficiencies, does the production have to be destroyed?
A: Production must be destroyed in an acceptable manner in order to receive the discount factor of 1.000 (zero production to count for claim purposes). If production is not destroyed, discount factors will be determined in accordance with Section D of the Special Provisions.
Q: Are there specific quality adjustment procedures when the edible portion of a crop is exposed to flood waters?
A: In accordance with Section C of the Special Provisions, if the edible portion of a crop is exposed to flood waters it is considered adulterated and should not be used for feed and food:
“The Food and Drug Administration guidelines state when an edible portion of a crop is exposed to flood waters, it is considered adulterated and can be injurious to human or animal health and should not be used for feed or food. For acreage of an insured crop in which the edible portion of the crop has been exposed to flood waters, such production is considered to contain substances or conditions qualifying under Section C3 with a level exceeding the maximum amount allowed. Such production is not required to be sampled and tested by an approved laboratory. Whether you intend to harvest or not harvest such acreage, you must give us notice to inspect the crop. Such production will be considered to have zero market value if destroyed in an acceptable manner. Refer to Section D. If you harvest production from such flood-damaged acreage and commingle with production from acreage not damaged by flood, such commingled production will not be adjusted for any quality deficiencies listed in Section C.”
The North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA) continues to actively work on solutions to problems farmers are facing throughout North Dakota. In the last two weeks, our board members and staff have met with our Congressional Delegation, numerous state leaders, and USDA officials Under Secretary Bill Northey and RMA Administrator Martin Barbre.
NDCGA continually seeks solutions to the challenges corn producers face, and is looking ahead to how the organization can better frame future risk management policies that address the perils producers face.
President Randy Melvin attended a roundtable meeting in Argusville, ND with Under Secretary Northey, Senators Hoeven and Cramer, and other elected officials. Discussions centered around poor harvest conditions due to flooding and an early blizzard. Senator Hoeven announced that USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue has approved North Dakota’s request for a secretarial disaster designation for 47 counties; this will enable these counties to be eligible for WHIP+ aid. President Randy Melvin said, “the North Dakota Corn Growers thank Under Secretary Northey for coming to North Dakota and seeing the challenges we are facing. We are thankful for Northey’s response and openness to the ideas to improve risk management programs to help mitigate stress for producers.”
Vice President Paul Thomas attended the roundtable with RMA Administrator Barbre in Minot last Monday. The meeting focused on RMA’s flexibility with crop insurance adjustors and crop insurance premiums. On Thursday, November 14, RMA announced it would “continue to defer accrual of interest for 2019 crop year insurance premiums” in order to assist producers affected by adverse weather. Thomas asked for changes including: adding counties that currently do not have crop insurance coverage in North Dakota to become eligible, remove the 2019 crop year prevented plant acres from the 1 in 4 rule nationwide due to the unprecedented wet conditions. He also asked for RMA to work with private insurance providers to maintain flexibility on a farm by farm basis as the harvest deadline approaches. Thomas requested RMA develop an insurance product that allows farmers to take enterprise unit coverage on a smaller scale.
The North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA) is the farmer-led membership organization focusing on policy that impacts North Dakota corn producers. The NDCGA board of directors consists of 14 growers from seven districts along with two at-large directors.
A group of 60 agriculture and biofuel groups sent a letter on Monday, November 4 to the White House calling on President Trump to fix a flawed proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Read the full letter here: Agriculture, Biofuel Groups Ask President Trump to Fix Small-Refinery Exemptions Proposal
Last December, a new Farm Bill was signed and put into place. Since then, programs continue to be implemented and updated. Two of the programs are the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. Producers will have until March 15, 2020 to sign up for either program for the 2019 crop year.
The links below are from sources we think will give you the necessary information and tools needed to make an informed decision about which program is best for you.
ARC/PLC Press Release
NDSU ARC/PLC Workbook
ARC/PLC Updated Information
ARC/PLC Program Data
ARC/PLC Fact Sheet
2014 vs. 2018 Farm Bill
FSA Programs and Services
Commodity Fact Sheets
ND county FSA offices will be conducting producer meetings November – February. When you make an appointment, the county will need to know which program you’d like to enroll your farm in (PLC, ARC-CO, ARC-IC) and have yield information available if you plan to update your PLC yield in 2020.
*The use of these links does not equate to an endorsement of the news article, source, or product.
Hello! Here, you will find Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) disaster aid information.
If you follow this link you will find a map of North Dakota and the counties where disasters were declared on June 12, 2019. The counties are: Pembina, Walsh, Grand Forks, Traill, Steele, Cass, Barnes, Richland, Ransom, Sargent, LaMoure, Dickey, Emmons, Morton, Grant, Hettinger, Adams, and McKenzie.
The type of aid available in these counties is WHIP+. WHIP+ provides disaster payments to producers to offset losses from hurricanes, wildfires, and other qualifying natural disasters that occurred in 2018-19. This covers the losses of crops, trees, bushes, and vines that occurred as a result of those disaster events. This will provide assistance for yield-based and value loss crops that suffered losses prior to harvest. WHIP+ payments for crop losses only covers production losses, not quality losses. Eligible crops include those where crop insurance or NAP coverage is available. If your county received a Presidential or Secretarial Emergency Disaster Declaration or one or more of the qualifying disaster events, you are eligible for aid. However, if you are outside the disaster declaration, you may still be eligible, but you will need to supply additional/supporting documents. These are determined by a county committee; contact your local FSA office for more information.
WHIP+ will now include programs for both milk losses due to adverse weather conditions and to on-farm stored commodities.
The amount of aid you can receive is dependent on your average adjusted gross farm income (AAGFI). Under WHIP+, a person cannot receive more than $125,000 in payments if the AAGFI is less than 75 percent of their AAGFI for 2015, 2016, & 2017. However, if at least 75 percent of your adjusted gross income is from farming, and necessary documentation is provided, you could be eligible to receive up to $250,000 per crop year under WHIP+ payments.
WHIP+ payments will take into consideration the difference between the expected value of the crop and the actual value of the crop as a result of the disaster event. This will be determined by FSA using crop insurance or NAP prices. Payments under WHIP+ cannot exceed 90 percent of the total losses for those individuals with crop insurance. For those without crop insurance or NAP, the total amount of payments received under WHIP+ cannot exceed 70 percent of the total losses for 2018-19. Production for crop losses is based on the verifiable or reliable production records for that crop year.
It is important to note that the AGI payment limitations that are required under WHIP+ do not apply to prevent plant (PP) payments. WHIP+ is for crops that were damaged after being planted and prevent plant payments are for those that were not able to plant at all due to flooding or disaster related events. PP will be administered in the same way as other Federal crop insurance programs. If you purchased crop insurance and were unable to plant due to a weather-related disaster, you are eligible for PP payments. Under prevent plant, individuals will receive 15% for those with revenue protection, except those who select the harvest price exclusion option and 10% for those who do not have revenue protection. This will be determined by the crop insurance you purchased.
If you receive WHIP+ payments, you will be required to purchase crop insurance for the next 2 available crop years.
Applications should be submitted to your county FSA office. FSA offices are now accepting applications. To learn more about WHIP+ plus and the application material required, please visit farmers.gov.
FARGO, North Dakota — August 1, 2019 — The North Dakota Corn Growers Association hired Lisa Hochhalter as its Executive Director this past spring. Hochhalter has been working part-time while studying for the bar exam. She has now completed the bar exam and will begin her full-time duties starting August 1, 2019. “We are excited to have Ms. Hochhalter lead our Association, she brings great energy and a passion for the corn industry to this position,” stated North Dakota Corn Growers Association President, Randy Melvin.
Lisa was assigned to the House Industry, Business & Labor and Agriculture Committees for the 2019 North Dakota Legislative Assembly. Prior to her work at the Legislature Lisa was a law clerk at Zimney Foster, P.C., in Grand Forks. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Communications from North Dakota State University and received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law in May 2019.
Lisa will oversee the effective operation of the Association. She will work with the board of directors to develop and implement programs that enhance the profitability of ND farms. She will ensure the continued growth and viability of the Association by actively seeking opportunities to increase membership and identifying potential ongoing sources of revenue. She will also advocate for the North Dakota corn industry with national and state policy leaders. This position will also be the liaison to the National Corn Growers Association on behalf of the Association and the North Dakota corn industry.
The North Dakota Corn Growers Association is the farmer-led membership organization focusing on policy that impacts North Dakota corn producers.