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Vilsack: Crop insurers agree to premium grace period

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that crop insurance companies have agreed to his request to provide a short grace period on insurance premiums from farmers this year.

In light of the drought, last month Vilsack asked the companies to voluntarily defer the accrual of any interest on unpaid spring crop premiums by producers until November 1, 2012.

In return, USDA will not require crop insurance companies to pay uncollected producer premiums until one month later.

The companies initially said only that they would work with the farmers on their payments, but Vilsack said today that they have agreed to grant the grace period.

"Farmers affected by this drought can rest assured that crop insurance will be there for them in this unprecedented year, just as we've been there in the past,” National Crop Insurance Services President Tom Zacharias said in an email. “And although an indemnity check from a private insurer probably won't make them completely whole, it will at least help producers make ends meet and plant again tomorrow.”