Written by M. Sean High – Staff Attorney
On Tuesday March 15, 2016, Pennsylvania farmers must make key decisions regarding crop insurance for spring planted crops. Significantly, March 15, 2016 is the final day for farmers to apply for crop insurance on most insurable spring planted crops. Just as important, March 15, 2016 is the deadline for existing crop insurance policy holders to make changes to their present crop insurance policies regarding spring planted crops.
Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) programs, administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA), are an important risk management strategy designed to provide farmers with a valuable safety net in the event of a natural disaster. According to USDA RMA, “producers who purchased crop insurance are covered for all natural causes of loss listed in their policies.” As a result, farmers that utilize crop insurance may be better prepared to handle challenges arising from natural disasters such as drought, hail, and insects.
Accordingto USDA RMA, farmers that meet the March 15, 2016 crop insurance deadline for spring planted crops have the ability to obtain coverage “for cabbage, corn, forage seeding, fresh market sweet corn, fresh market tomatoes, grain sorghum, green peas, potatoes, processing beans, processing sweet corn, processing tomatoes, soybeans, spring barley, spring oats, and tobacco in Pennsylvania.” Furthermore, USDA RMA states that “[c]overage is also available for revenue losses caused by a change in the harvest price from the projected price for corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, and spring barley.”
Though administered by RMA, crop insurance is only available for purchase from private, state licensed, insurance agents. The producer costs for crop insurance coverage are set by USDA RMA and do not differ from insurance agent to insurance agent. To find a licensed crop insurance agent, interested individuals can either contact a USDA Service Center or search online through the RMA Agent Locator. Additional information regarding crop insurance can be found at www.rma.usda.gov.