Farmers Could Get Help

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is calling on crop insurance companies to push back their due dates for payments.

Vilsack said Monday he wants insurance companies to not require payments until November 1st. That is 30 days later than payments are usually due.

“This is why we need to have a safety net,” Vilsack said in a recent interview with CNN.

Rock Island County farmer Greg Boruff likes the idea. He says any help would be beneficial to farmers now.

“Right now the way it’s set up, we would start baring interest on October 1st,” Boruff said.

Insurance premiums on corn cost about $35 an acre. If farmers don’t have to make that payment until November, they can see how much money they’ve made off their crops when they harvest them in October.

“Let these guys get into this agonizing harvest and see what they got,” Boruff said. “The last thing any of these guys want is another penalty.”

If you don’t pay your premium on time, you usually accrue an interest penalty of 1.25 percent per month. Now that penalty wouldn’t start until November.

“On October 1st, they would have started charging me interest, and that interest would now be delayed another 30 days,” Boruff said. “So I would have some harvest to help pay for it.”

Ultimately the insurance companies would have the final say as to whether they support the push backed deadline. This is a separate issue from the Farm Bill Vilsack is pushing for in Congress as well.