Written by M. Sean High
On September 9, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced an expansion of the premium price elections for crop insurance coverage on organic crops. As a result, greater numbers of organic crops are now entitled to receive the benefit of crop insurance protection “from loses due to severe weather or price declines.”
Starting in 2016, fourteen organic products will now become eligible to receive price election protection. The newly added organic crops are “barley, cabbage, cranberries, cultivated wild rice, dry peas, forage production (with the inclusion of alfalfa in select states), grass seed, onions (fresh onions in select states), potatoes, processing clingstone peaches, rye, sugarcane, safflower and wheat.” These latest additions to the program bring the total number of organic crops eligible for price election insurance to forty-seven.
Additionally, RMA announced that eligible “[p]roducers who are transitioning to certified organic will also have the ability to use the contract price option beginning in 2016.” The contract price option allows eligible producers the availability “to use their personal contract price as their price election, or to choose existing crop insurance price elections.” This option is intended to allow eligible producers the ability to receive “a crop insurance guarantee that is more reflective of the actual value of their crop.”