For the second year in a row, farmers who plant cover crops are eligible for a premium benefit of $5 an acre on most crop insurance policies, said the USDA’s Risk Management Agency on Thursday.
Corn growers in 11 states can apply for crop insurance coverage this year for a practice that reduces nutrient runoff, said the Risk Management Agency on Wednesday. The policy will cover yield losses if bad weather prevents growers from making multiple applications of nitrogen fertilizer during key parts of the growing season.
Small farmers who sell their products locally are eligible for a new micro-farm policy, said the Risk Management Agency, which oversees the federally subsidized crop insurance system. The policy, which simplifies recordkeeping and covers post-production costs, is available for 2022 crops.
Farmers from Georgia to California told a House Agriculture subcommittee on Wednesday that the foundation of the 2023 farm bill should be the taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance system. They also expressed interest in the creation of a standby disaster relief fund.
The USDA announced a new insurance policy on Wednesday to shield dairy farmers from unexpected declines in revenue from milk sales. The insurance “will bring an extra level of support to a dairy sector that has been battered by losses over the past four years,” said the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Iowa, which has been embroiled in controversies over agricultural runoff and water-quality issues, has announced a novel program to give farmers who plant cover crops a $5-per-acre discount on their crop insurance over the next three years, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Crop insurance is a popular safeguard for row-crop farmers, but “a lot of the nation’s vegetables and fruit crops aren’t covered,” says Bloomberg in an examination of crop insurance data in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. “Only 34 percent of vegetable acreage [is] covered, and many less common products are not covered by the program at all.”
Farmers bought crop insurance policies on 297 million acres in 2015, covering 85 percent of land planted to major field crops such as corn, wheat, cotton and soybeans, an increase of 16 percent from the coverage area in 2010, according to Risk Management Agency data. Coverage of fruit, vegetables and other specialty crops has grown more slowly, to reach 8.3 million acres last year.
Lanon Baccam, a former assistant to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, was named as deputy agriculture undersecretary with responsibility for two agencies that deal directly with producers, the USDA announced.
The White House announced changes in the federally subsidized crop-insurance program to cushion farmers against the ongoing drought in the West or other natural disasters. The changes broaden the number of crops and the area covered by the Actual Production History yield exemption and are estimated to generate $30 million in additional relief to farmers in the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1, and $43 million in the following fiscal year.
A new crop insurance policy, whole-farm revenue protection, is available for 2015 crops, said USDA's Risk Management Agency. It says the new policy "makes crop insurance more affordable for producers, including fruit and vegetable growers and...
Three states in the Great Plains - Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma - account for nearly half of crop insurance indemnities paid so far this year, say USDA data.
Farmers will be able to buy crop insurance polices for crops planted in spring 2015 that allow them to get higher yield coverage by excluding catastrophic losses when they calculate average production, the government said.
Operators of diversified farms will see more affordable rates for crop insurance under the new Whole Farm Revenue Protection policy, said USDA's Risk Management Agency.
The Agriculture Department put on the Internet a "tool" to help growers assess how the Supplemental Coverage Option would apply to their crops and the approximate cost of the coverage.
The new subsidy STAX will be available to upland cotton growers beginning with the 2015 crop, said USDA's Risk Management Agency in a bulletin to insurers and its field offices.
The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State Univ releases a report on crop insurance selection by growers.