The following is a statement from Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert, Jr., regarding the USDA’s announcement that it will delay crop insurance premium due dates to help farmers affected by extreme weather manage their financials this fall.

“USDA’s decision to defer interest accrual of all agriculture producers’ spring 2019 crop insurance payments lends farmers much-needed flexibility in a year that hasn’t afforded them many wins, either in the field or in the markets.

“Farmers feeling the stress of this year’s weather challenges and volatile commodity prices can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they have a bit more time to pay their crop insurance premiums without the threat of accruing additional interest. The interest deferral will certainly help Illinois farmers as billing dates approach, yet late-planted crops are not ready to harvest.

“Illinois Farm Bureau leaders advocated for the deadline extension during a June visit to D.C. In addition, Illinois elected officials offered timely support this summer with the submission of House-sponsored and Senate-sponsored formal letters to RMA Administrator Martin Barbre asking for the extension. We’re grateful for the leadership of U.S. Reps. Kelly and Bost, U.S. Sens. Duckworth and Durbin and each of the members of the Illinois congressional delegation who recognized the need – our concerns were heard.

“The RMA has my personal thanks for their recognition of and response to this unusually stressful time for ag producers.”

The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 394,742 and a voting membership of 78,999. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.