Lawmakers ask Secretary of Ag to help impacted producers

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LINCOLN, Neb. - (KNEP) - Lawmakers from both Nebraska and Wyoming are calling on the Secretary of Agriculture to help producers affected by the Gering – Fort Laramie Irrigation Canal tunnel collapse.

A tunnel collapsed in the Gering-Fort Laramie Canal on July 17th (Source KNEP)

Nebraska Senators Ben Sasse and Deb Fischer along with Third District Congressman Adrian Smith and Wyoming Senators Mike Enzi, John Barrasso and Representative Liz Cheney sent a letter to Sonny Purdue seeking crop insurance protection.

In part, the letter reads they are asking the Risk Management Agency to review the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the event and determine it to be an insurable event qualifying producers for crop insurance. It goes on to state, from their understanding, the lack of irrigation supply is an insurable event within the rules and regulations of RMA. They also want RMA to evaluate the reports to determine it’s insurable also based on adverse weather conditions.

After describing the event that occurred, lawmakers add “farmers continue to care for their crops, but the lack of irrigation water and adequate supplemental rainfall has taken a serious toll on the planted areas, crop yields and crop quality.”

The six lawmakers also add that it would be beneficial for producers to know their crop insurance will cover any losses as they move towards harvest season.

Producers have been without water since July 17th and it was announced on August 17th that water may not return for at least another two weeks.