In a news release dated July 23, 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the federal crop insurance program will be expanding to provide fruit and nut producers with greater coverage options. According to USDA, under the new program, producers in select counties will now have the ability to purchase a Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) and the Actual Production History (APH) Yield Exclusion as part of their overall crop insurance coverage.
USDA stated that “SCO is an area-based policy endorsement that can be purchased to supplement an underlying crop insurance policy. It covers a portion of losses not covered by the same crop’s underlying policy.” As a result of the new program expansion, “almonds, apples, blueberries, grapes, peaches, potatoes, prunes safflower, tomatoes, and walnuts” are eligible for SCO in select counties in 2016.
USDA further asserted that “[t]he APH Yield Exclusion allows farmers, with qualifying crops in eligible counties, to exclude low yields in exceptionally bad years (such as a year in which a natural disaster or other extreme weather occurs) from their production history when calculating yields used to establish their crop insurance coverage.” As a result of the announced change to the crop insurance program, “apples, blueberries, grapes, peaches, potatoes, prunes safflower, tomatoes, and walnuts.” will now be eligible for APH in select counties in 2016.
According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, “[p]roviding these [crop insurance] options for our producers of fresh fruit and nuts gives them the stronger safety net they need to continue farming, even after particularly bad years.”
For additional information regarding crop insurance, please click here.
Written by M. Sean High - Staff Attorney
July 27, 2015