APH could be ‘lifeline’ for drought plagued growers

pic-cowan-120712The new farm bill provision called Actual Production History Yield Exclusion (APH) has the potential to be a lifeline for farmers following crop losses due to bad weather.  Texas Panhandle farmer Wade Cowan tells Brownfield he’s had four years of drought that were preceded by a hail-out.

“Basically we’ve been sitting for the last five years with very low yields,” Cowan told Brownfield Ag News on Wednesday, “and so by being able to plug this new yield in, since the whole county had a weather related incident, really does help us actually have a safety net there with the insurance.”

The provision, available on select crops next spring, allows farmers to exclude yields from exceptionally bad years from their production history when calculating yields to establish crop insurance coverage.

Cowan, the first vice-president of the American Soybean Association, says the APH rollout means the difference between continuing to farm following disastrous years, and being forced out of business.

“You know I can’t say enough about Secretary Vilsack and Under Secretary Scuse and just all the people in the USDA,” said Cowan.  “They really did a monumental effort in getting this out for next year.”

Farmers purchase coverage based on recent yields. Under APH, yields can be excluded from production history when the county average yield is at least 50 percent below the 10 previous crop years’ average yield.

Cowan farms at Brownfield, Texas, southwest of Lubbock.

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