March 4, 2015
Crop Insurance Deadlines Fast-Approaching
With deadlines as early as March 16, now is the time to act
Harrisburg – Acting Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding urges producers to take immediate action to finalize their risk management plans for the growing season ahead of the approaching March 16 crop insurance deadline.
“It’s important to enroll in crop insurance and other risk management programs – to take some of the worry and risk out of Mother Nature and market prices,” said Redding. “With crop insurance more flexible and effective than ever thanks to the 2014 Farm Bill, this is a great opportunity, but farmers must sign up before the March 16 deadline.”
Crop insurance is an important tool among producers’ risk management options. March 16 is the deadline for modifying and finalizing policies, including the amount of crop covered, the value at which it is insured, and the loss percentage at which insurance kicks in.
Noninsured crop disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, available through the Farm Service Agency for crops that are not covered by crop insurance, must also be completed by March 16. NAP has been expanded to include coverage levels of up to 65 percent of the crop yield. Local Farm Service Agency offices assist with NAP, not crop insurance agents.
Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) provides a risk management safety net for all commodities on a farm – like specialty and organic crops and livestock, or for diversified local- and direct-market operations – under one insurance policy. The enrollment deadline is also March 16.
Redding recommended that producers check with their FSA office regarding the new Ag Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs that replace the Base Acres programs. They provide a minimal-cost limited coverage option for farms. Farms will be enrolled through the life of the 2014 Farm Bill, which expires in 2018. The deadline for updating yields and re-allocating base acreage has been extended to March 31, which is also the final date for electing which program to use.
In order to receive crop insurance subsidies for 2016, producers must certify conservation compliance with FSA by June 1.
Dairy producers can sign up for 2016 coverage in the Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) from July 1 to Sept. 30.