Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Crop Insurance Update: USDA Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage Crop Insurance Now Available in 48 States

Written by M. Sean High

On August 31, 2015, the United States Department of Agricultural (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced an expansion of the agency’s Rainfall Index Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) pilot program.  As a result, PRF “will now be available [to livestock producers] in all 48 contiguous states beginning with the 2016 crop year.”

As with other crop insurance programs, PRF is designed to provide farmers and ranchers with a “safety net” that allows the agricultural producers the ability to better withstand “bad years.” Under PRF, a rainfall index is utilized to determine pasture, rangeland, and forage losses, and to trigger any indemnity payments.  Importantly, “PRF is an area based plan of insurance” and is “not based on individual rain gauges on [a] farm or a single weather station.” The current use of a rainfall index replaces the previously utilized vegetation index.

To be eligible for PRF, livestock producers must sign-up for the program by November 15, 2015.  A list of insurance agents that provide PRF is available at the USDA RMA Agent Locator webpage. 

More information regarding this crop insurance program is available on the PRF webpage.  

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