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Nebraska sugar beet growers getting help after devastating 2019 crop loss | KTIC Radio

Nebraska sugar beet growers getting help after devastating 2019 crop loss

Multiple farm agencies and organizations are coming together to assist sugar beet growers with getting  2020s crop in the ground.

The Nebraska Extension is hosting a workshop on Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) insurance policies tomorrow (Feb. 13) at 9 a.m. at the UNL Panhandle Research and Ext Center in Scottsbluff. 

“We’re going to have a couple of insurance experts walk through the policy as well as different scenarios related to the policy, so producers can get their questions answered,” said Jessica Groskopf Neb. Extension ag economist.

The policy is not a common one for producers, and there are a lot of questions about how it would work with sugar production.

A traditional policy for sugar beets wouldn’t have the revenue protection available.

“This (WFRP policy) would be a way for the producer to get that revenue protection built into their insurance,” she said.

Sugarbeet growers had good news yesterday, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, with a Disaster Declaration for the 2019 crop losses and damages sustained during two severe weather events in October.

“We’ve talked with the Farm Service Agency in Lincoln, actually went to the USDA in D.C. and met with (Under) Secretary Northey and FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce, helping them understand the situation here in Nebraska, as best I can,” said Steve Wellman director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture 

Wellman is among several including Sentaros Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, working on getting assistance for the sugarbeet growers.

“They are still working on the WHIP+ (Wildfire, Hurricane, and Indemnity Program Plus) funding,” Wellman said. “Which I believe is coming, and there sounds like there is money involved for sugar beet growers or the coops that will be included in the WHIP+ program.”

The declaration designates Scotts Bluff County as a primary natural disaster area with Banner, Box Butte, Morrill, and Sioux counties as contiguous disaster counties in Nebraska.

Farmers in the above counties could be eligible for assistance from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, provided they meet specific requirements. 

Farmers in the listed counties have until Oct. 7, 2020, to apply for emergency loans through FSA.

The Whole Farm Revenue Protection workshop being held Feb. 13, is free and will start at 9 a.m. in the Blue Stem Room at the Panhandle Center.  A live internet stream is available. Bankers, sugarbeet producers, and insurance agents are welcome.

For more information and to get the link for the live stream, contact Groskopf at 308-632-1247.

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