U.S. Reps. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Ben Cline (R-VA), Elaine Luria (D-VA), and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), along with U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner (both D-VA) worked to secure Virginia’s inclusion in the hemp crop insurance pilot program.
“We are thrilled to have been able to secure Virginia’s place in this critical pilot program,” said the members of Congress. “The Commonwealth has a long history of industrial hemp research and development and Virginia’s inclusion in this critical pilot program will allow producers to better protect their crops in the event of a natural disaster. Additionally, the data collected from our producers will help provide a stronger and more robust insurance product, benefitting growers, processors, consumers, and taxpayers across the U.S.”
Crop insurance is often critical for farmers to guard against unforeseen disasters. AgriLogic has been working with hemp growers and processors across the country to gather data as it develops a Federal Yield-Based Industrial Hemp Crop Insurance Program on behalf of USDA. Drafts of this pilot program initially did not include Virginia, potentially giving growers in other states an unfair advantage in the new market. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) was not even notified of an opportunity to participate until after initial pilot states had already been selected.
The members sent a letter to AgriLogic, urging it to include Virginia in the hemp crop insurance program, which could begin as early as the 2020 growing season, if approved later this year by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) Board of Directors. AgriLogic recently announced that it will include Virginia in the plans it will submit to the USDA next week.
“I am excited at the progress we have made by adding Virginia to the AgriLogic hemp crop insurance program,” Riggleman said. “This program will allow for exponential growth in hemp production and is a huge win for Virginia and the 5th District. Hemp growers in Virginia are prime to lead and the 5th District is prime to lead based on its historic production of tobacco. Virginia is already one of the top hemp producers in the country and its inclusion in this pilot program will help farmers and grow the economy in the 5th District.”