Legal challenge brewing over delay in key crop insurance provision

A recent decision by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency to delay the implementation of the Actual Production History (APH) provision of the 2014 Farm Bill until 2015 has sparked serious concern among agriculture producers in drought-stricken areas of the United States and has fueled speculation that legal action may be imminent.

Jeff Todd, co-chair of McAfee & Taft’s Agriculture and Equine Industry Group and a trial lawyer who has litigated numerous federal crop insurance cases, was interviewed by Agri-Pulse about the RMA decision, its potential impact on certain producers, and what actions may be taken to protect the legal rights of farmers adversely affected by the agency’s decision.

“Failure to implement this APH provision impacts producers’ ability to purchase workable crop insurance, the ability to get operating loans and, potentially, the ability to collect indemnities,” said Todd. While he did not rule out the filing of a lawsuit, he said the firm is weighing all of its options and will “ultimately do whatever is best for our producers.”

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