The American Sugar Cane League (ASCL) applauded the United States Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency for their approval of a new crop insurance program designed for the sugarcane crop.
Jim Simon, manager of the ASCL, said RMA’s approval of the new plan corrects deficiencies in the previous crop insurance plan for sugarcane.
"We thank USDA and its Risk Management Agency for listening to our concerns and their approval of the sugarcane industry’s proposal,” Simon said. "The plan will provide a robust safety net for our farmers and help them achieve a greater economic stability for their operations. A healthy farming community means a healthy rural economy and strong rural communities.”
Simon also thanked Louisiana’s congressional delegation for their support of the plan.
"The unified support of the Louisiana delegation was critical to the effort,” Simon said. "Senators David Vitter and Bill Cassidy, and House Agriculture Committee Member Ralph Abraham, were joined by the entire delegation in urging USDA to act on the proposal. Louisiana’s 220-year-old sugarcane industry would not be able to exist without our delegation’s support. They do a lot of heavy lifting for us on Capitol Hill and make sure Louisiana’s farming voice is heard.”
Simon said the value provided by the plan should encourage farmers to purchase higher levels of insurance coverage.
Sugarcane, grown in 23 parishes, is Louisiana’s second largest agricultural commodity. The crop generates a $2 billion economic impact to the state’s growers and raw sugar millers and is the largest row-crop in terms of value. The overall economic impact to the state is $3 billion. More than 16,000 jobs are supported by the sugarcane industry.
In 2015, Louisiana 450 farmers harvested 382,000 acres of sugarcane which was produced into 1.4 million tons of raw sugar by the state’s 11 raw sugar mills.