Written by M. Sean High
Pennsylvania beekeepers and pasture, rangeland and forage producers are reminded that November 15, 2015 is the sign-up deadline to be eligible for crop insurance under the Rainfall Index (RI) program. Under RI, eligible apiculture, forage, and livestock producers are offered the ability to receive crop insurance protection for acreage devoted to grazing or hay production.
RI is a group risk insurance policy that places enrolled acreage into designated areas known as “grids.” Using National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data, RI calculates each grid’s rainfall level and compares that level to normal/historical rainfall levels. If a particular grid’s rainfall level falls below an established level, participating producers within the grid receive loss payments. It is important to note that RI coverage is based upon the rainfall level of the entire grid and not upon the rainfall level or crop production of any individual producer within the grid.
Participation in RI is limited to perennial pastures, rangeland, and forage land only. As a result, annual crops are not eligible for the program.
Additionally, land that is not suitable for grazing or hay production is not eligible for RI coverage. Nevertheless, qualified farmers do have the ability to exclude their unsuitable land from RI and still receive coverage for their remaining eligible land.
More information regarding RI is available at: http://www.rma.usda.gov/policies/pasturerangeforage/