Enrollment for two safety net programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the 2019 crop year opened last week.

U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith say the programs provide Minnesota ag producers with financial support when crop revenue and commodity prices fall below certain levels. Funding is available through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

“Our farmers are a key part of our agriculture community and agriculture economy, and they are in great need of stability,” said Klobuchar, Minnesota’s senior member of the U.S. Senate. “As the backbone of our economy, farmers throughout Minnesota and across the country deserve our support during periods of uncertainty like we are experiencing now. With the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs, Minnesota farmers and producers can receive the support they need during this tough time. We encourage all eligible producers to sign up before the March 15 deadline.”

Smith agreed.

“Farming is a cornerstone of Minnesota’s economy and I want to help provide stability and predictability to Minnesota ag during these unsettling times,” said Smith, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “I fought for these programs during the 2018 farm bill debate to help protect our producers from unforeseen losses. I encourage eligible Minnesotans to sign up.”

The Agriculture Risk Coverage program provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guarantee level. The Price Loss Coverage program provides income support payments on historical base acres when the price for a covered commodity falls below its effective reference price. Enrollment began Sept. 3 and will continue through March 15, 2020. For crop years 2021 through 2023, producers will have the opportunity to make new elections.