Kyle Potter, Published November 14 2013
Diversion Authority OKs additional crop insurance for farmers in storage areaFARGO – Diversion leaders have decided they will provide additional crop insurance to farmers in the flood protection project’s so-called storage area. They’re just not sure what that insurance will look like.
The crop insurance would aim to mitigate the impact of floodwaters south of the Fargo-Moorhead metro, where water would collect in the event of a major flood before moving into the proposed 36-mile flood channel.
Diversion Authority Chairman Darrel Vanyo said it would provide supplemental aid to farmers who don’t qualify for federal crop insurance. It would insure those farmers who miss the federal program’s spring planting deadline because the diversion has flooded the area, or if heavy rains in the summer wipe out planted crops due to project operation.
“Federal crop insurance will not pay for something that was manmade,” Vanyo said. “We are going to step forward and work on that.”
But for now, it’s just a concept, Vanyo said. The Diversion Authority is bringing on Billings, Mont.-based consultant Watts and Associates Inc. to consider several options on how to structure crop insurance in the staging area, about 35,000 acres of which can be farmed. Diversion leaders expect some preliminary plans in early 2014.
Watts will be paid through another diversion consultant, AE2S.
The Diversion Authority will also purchase flowage easements from landowners in the staging area, a federally required step in order to flood private land.
Vanyo said diversion leaders had talked about and drafted language to start looking into both the easements and insurance earlier this year, but it wasn’t approved until Thursday’s Diversion Authority board meeting.
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Kyle Potter at (701) 241-5502