New USDA program helps farmers affected by severe weather

Eligible counties and exclusion years for new crop insurance option announced.

mgnonline.com

WASHINGTON,D.C.(USDA MEDIA OFFICE) – The U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced program details related to a new Farm Bill initiative that will provide relief to farmers affected by severe weather, including drought. Information made available today includes eligible crops, crop years, and counties where producers are eligible to exclude certain yields under the Actual Production History (APH) Yield Exclusion, a fact sheet, and a list of frequently asked questions.

The APH Yield Exclusion will be available in the actuarial documents beginning in the 2015 crop year for spring planted corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, barley, canola, sunflowers, peanuts, and popcorn. It will allow eligible producers who have been hit with severe weather to receive a higher approved yield on their insurance policies through the federal crop insurance program.

“APH Yield Exclusion will provide additional options to producers who have suffered from devastating natural disasters,” said RMA Administrator Brandon Willis. “The resources made available today will help eligible producers get the most benefit out of the new protections created in the 2014 Farm Bill.”

Under the new Farm Bill program, yields can be excluded from farm actual production history when the actuarial documents provide that the county average yield for that crop year is at least 50 percent below the 10 previous consecutive crop years’ average yield.

The APH Yield Exclusion allows farmers to exclude yields in exceptionally bad years (such as a year in which a natural disaster or other extreme weather occur) from their production history when calculating yields used to establish their crop insurance coverage. The amount of insurance available to a farmer is based on the farmer’s average historical yields. In the past, a year of particularly low yields that occurred due to severe weather beyond the farmer’s control would reduce the amount of insurance available to the farmer in future years. By excluding unusually bad years, farmers will not have to worry that a natural disaster will reduce their amount of insurance for years to come.

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. Producers should contact a local crop insurance agent for more information about the program or visit http://www.rma.usda.gov/news/currentissues/farmbill/index.html. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers or on the RMA website at http://www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agents.

Today’s announcement was made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. For more information, visit http://www.usda.gov/farmbill.

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