As farmers report information technology problems with Department of Agriculture programs, two farm-state senators are asking the Government Accountability Office to investigate.
Senate Democrats Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, both of Michigan, penned a letter to the GAO this week seeking the review. The letter states, “We are particularly interested in whether the changes have improved, interfered with, or added risks for the successful and timely implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill.”
Michigan dairy farmers have reported to the Senators that IT problems made signing up for the new Dairy Margin Coverage program a challenge. Some farmers even report enrollment took multiple trips to Farm Service Agency offices complete because of IT challenges.
In 2017, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a major IT modernization at USDA to ensure better customer service to America’s farmers and ranchers. Part of the modernization was the upgrade of IT systems at three agencies which impact farmers and ranchers most directly.