Alfalfa farmers are asking lawmakers to put their crop in parity with other major crops in terms of public research funding and crop insurance. National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) representatives made the case during their eighth annual Washington, D.C., fly-in earlier this month, with nearly 100 meetings scheduled over the course of the three-day event.
Since alfalfa is not a program crop, current risk management tools contained in the farm bill -- Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage -- are not available to alfalfa farmers. This situation incentivizes farmers to shift acres away from non-covered commodities into program crops. NAFA representatives also met with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service to discuss how best to use research funding and with USDA’s National Institute of Food & Agriculture to discuss the Alfalfa Seed & Alfalfa Forage Systems Research Program.