Crop Insurance Resource Roundup

Risk management is a crucial aspect of farming, particularly with the extreme weather conditions that are hitting the United States. A critical part of this is crop insurance. To get the basics, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency developed a webpage with answers to common questions surrounding crop insurance. Below are some tools available for free online that can help farmers navigate how to effectively implement crop insurance.

Crop Insurance for Individuals

FLAG created a PDF intended as a training guide for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives that provides an in depth look into crop insurance for individuals. This document is available to anyone for free online. It covers everything there is to know behind the roles and rules of insuring crops through Federal Crop Insurance or a private insurer. The document also delves into what is covered under crop insurance, what to look for in a contract and much more.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program

This program is available for producers that were hit by a natural disaster without crop insurance.

Utah State University Extension developed a presentation explaining everything there is to know about the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency also offers an informative disaster assistance fact sheet focusing on the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.

Organic Crop Insurance

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency produced a fact sheet explaining the Contract Price Addendum, which now allows organic producers to insure crops at a set price specified in a contract. The addendum is applicable to 62 types of crops.

Corn and Soybean Crop Insurance

Iowa State’s Extension program offers two helpful PDF’s available through the Decision Tools section of its website. These free downloadable PDFs offer valuable insight into choosing crop insurance plans for corn and soybeans; the first of which provides a tool to compare different strategies for insurance on corn and soybeans, while the second compares the risk behind GRIP and GRP crop insurance for these crops.

Cover Crops and Crop Insurance

The National Resources Conservation Service put the Cover Crop Termination Guidelines online in a downloadable PDF format.

For a more in depth look, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the National Center for Appropriate Technology created a webinar that explains “when and how to terminate cover crops and maintain eligibility for crop insurance coverage of subsequently planted cash crops.”

Other Helpful Tools

University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension collected various crop insurance fact sheet publications covering the following topics: apples, peaches, corn, fresh market sweet corn, forage production, forage seeding, nursery and insurance coverage for organic crops.

Closing Dates Approaching for Federal Crop Insurance Programs

Spring sales closing dates are quickly approaching for Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) programs, which include the whole farm insurance programs Adjusted Gross Revenue Pilot (AGR) and Adjusted Gross Revenue-Lite (AGR-Lite). Both current policyholders and uninsured growers must make decisions on crop insurance coverage before the closing dates. See below for specific dates:

  • January 31, 2013: Final date to buy or change AGR insurance in select counties. Final date to submit required documents to continue or change 2013 AGR-Lite insurance for existing policyholders.
  • March 15, 2013: Final date to buy or change all other Spring Seeded MPCI (excluding those crops with other closing dates). Final date to buy 2013 AGR-Lite insurance for new application/enrollment policies.

Producers should visit their local crop insurance agent as soon as possible for specific details because the closing dates vary for specific crops. If there is no coverage in a county for a specific crop under the traditional MPCI program, producers are encouraged to ask crop insurance agents whether they would be eligible under a written agreement.

A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers or on the Risk Management Agency’s website.

Winter “Farminars” from Practical Farmers of Iowa

The Practical Farmers of Iowa offers free online seminars on a wide variety of topics. Most webinars are 90 minutes long and take place on Tuesdays from 7:00 – 8:30pm CST.

Some of the upcoming topics include:

  • Specialty Crop Insurance (*special lunchtime webinar tomorrow, Jan. 24th)
  • Explore the Profit Potential of High Tunnels
  • Considerations for Year-Round Employment for Vegetable Farms
  • Feed Alternatives to Corn and Soybeans
  • Selecting the Right Genetics for a Grass-Based System

For more information and to register online, visit: www.practicalfarmers.org/farminar/.

Free Webinar: “Understanding Whole-Farm Insurance for Specialized, Diversified, and Organic Farms,” Presented by NCAT

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will present a free, hour-long webinar on Thursday, November 29th at 1 pm EST, providing guidance for farmers and other professionals on the Adjusted Gross Revenue Lite (AGR-Lite) crop insurance program and its potential to serve small-scale, diverse, specialty crop, organic and direct-market farmers.

AGR-Lite is a unique type of federally subsidized crop insurance that is based on whole-farm revenue, rather than a specific crop or commodity. With AGR-Lite, farmers of diverse operations, specialty and high-value or organic crops and livestock can insure based on their farm’s historic revenue.

The webinar will also introduce NCAT’s new AGR-Lite Wizard assessment tool, which assists farmers in determining how whole-farm insurance can benefit their operation. The tool is available at www.agrlitewizard.com or by calling 1-800-346-9140.

Risk Management for Fruit Growers

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) has announced expansions to crop insurance options for blueberry, cherry and grape growers in Oregon and Washington state:

  • Blueberry Crop Insurance
    Expanded availability for Benton, Cowlitz, Franklin, Grant, Snohomish, Walla Walla and Yakima counties in Washington.
  • Cherry Actual Revenue History (Cherry-ARH) Crop Insurance
    Expanded availability for Gilliam and Sherman counties in Oregon and Kittitas County, Washington.
  • Grape Crop Insurance
    The Mourvedre variety is now recognized as a separate type in the central Washington counties; previously insured within the ‘all other red & pink varieties’ grouping.

RMA reminds growers throughout the country that November 20, 2012 is the last day to apply for coverage of many fruit crops (apples, blueberries, cherry “Actual Revenue History” pilot, cranberries, grapes, pears, and stonefruit). Growers who currently hold insurance policies, as well as currently uninsured growers, must make decisions about their insurance needs for 2013 before this date.

RMA encourages growers to contact their insurance agents as soon as possible – find a list of agents here. If your county does not have coverage for a specific crop under the traditional Multi-Peril Crop Insurance Program, be sure to ask your crop insurance agent if you’re eligible for coverage under a “written agreement.”

Visit the RMA website for more information on crop insurance.