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Ag secretary urges Pa. farmers to get crop insurance for '08

February 19, 2008

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff urges Pennsylvania farmers to finalize crop insurance decisions for 2008 spring-planted crops by the March 17 deadline.

"Crop insurance is an indispensable tool for protecting Pennsylvania agriculture," Wolff said. "Crop price instability, the rising cost of production and adverse weather can damage a farmer's bottom line, making it essential that they have a way to recover financially and start preparing for the next growing season."

Unlike previous years, producers collecting federal disaster payments must be enrolled in a crop insurance plan, or the noninsured crop assistance program through Farm Service Agency.

Producers who do not have crop insurance on the damaged crop will be unable to receive federal assistance for disasters leading to full or partial crop failure.

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"In the past, many producers depended on the funds they received from federal disaster payments to recover from devastating losses," Wolff said. "Now those funds will only be available to producers enrolled in a crop insurance plan, making it essential that all Pennsylvania farmers get policies to help protect their livelihoods and the vitality of Pennsylvania agriculture."

In the past five years, $140 million in crop insurance loss payments have been paid to producers that participated in crop insurance.

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