Schumer pushes for insurance expansion to encourage Chenango farmers to grow soybeans

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Charles Schumer is pushing the USDA to expand soybean crop insurance to 14 upstate counties, including Chenango.

“Expanding access to soybean insurance to more of our upstate farmers could be a real game changer,” the New York Democrat said in a statement issued by his office. “Soybeans are a profitable crop that hold real economic potential, but the industry can’t take off if they aren’t given access to some basic protections.”

Earlier this month, the New York Democrat placed a call to Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack, urging an expansion of soybean crop insurance coverage offered through the USDA’s Risk Management Agency to include the 14 counties, each of which had already applied to be included in the program. Those counties are: Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Otsego, St. Lawrence, Tioga and Washington.

According to Schumer, not having the coverage – which protects farmers from soybean crop losses due to weather conditions, infestations, etc. – puts ag producers in the region at a competitive disadvantage.

The senator indicated that Vilsack had been receptive to the idea of expanding the coverage.

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