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WI Lawmakers Asking USDA for Flexibility Amid Planting Delays
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 06/17/2019

Wisconsin's congressional delegation is encouraging U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to allow a one-time accommodation for farmers to give them flexibility for the harvest and grazing of certain crops due to the wet weather conditions. In a letter to the USDA chief last week, the lawmakers said excessive rain across the midwest this spring and USDA harvest-time limitations have left farmers uncertain of what planting options to pursue this year.

"Dairy and livestock farmers in Wisconsin and across the midwest are predicting substantial feed shortages this year due to winterkill of alfalfa and a planting season delayed by an unusually wet spring," the letter stated. "Farmers still have the opportunity to recover from these challenges and plant crops that will allow them to put up feed for their livestock. However, USDA regulations are preventing farmers from being able to respond to these difficult growing conditions."

The memo urged Perdue to take swift action within the next few weeks to provide planting, harvesting and grazing flexibility to farmers so that they can have certainty about their planting options and get their crops in the ground.

Sen. Ron Johnson added that he hopes the agency takes action to address this issue within the next 30 days in order to give producers the time they need to adjust their crop planning for 2019.

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