Earlier this month, Chuck Koster, Attorney General for Missouri, filed a lawsuit against Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to extend the deadline for filing planted acreage reports. The USDA requires most farmers in Missouri to report their planted acres by July 15 in order to secure coverage under the farmers’ crop insurance policies. The USDA allows farmers a 5 day grace period to submit the reports.
However, heavy rainfall and flooding the last few months pushed the planting season back several weeks preventing many farmers from getting their crops planted in time to submit the acreage report. Approximately 60% of Missouri farmers may be ineligible for corp insurance on some of their land as a result of missing the deadline. Many farmers left some fields fallow and submitted the acreage reports on the ground they were able to plant.
The lawsuit is a last ditch effort to convince the USDA to accept acreage reports after the deadline and farmers are encouraged to keep filing their paperwork while the lawsuit is processed. Hopefully the suit will buy the time necessary for Missouri’s flooded farmers to receive the insurance coverage they need.