Cool summer weather means fall harvest is behind normal

Cooler than normal temperatures during the growing season has resulted in slower than normal crop development. What that means to fall harvest is the possibility of some crop losses as normal freeze days occur. In addition, many areas experienced delayed planting and replanting issues during the wet spring, resulting in later than normal crop maturity, according to Dr. Mary Knapp, associate professor of agronomy and state climatologist, at Kansas State University.

Idaho Producers Benefit from New Risk Management Insurance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency announces that the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation’s board has approved revisions to the Pasture, Rangeland,  Forage Pasture, Forage and Apiculture Pilot programs for Idaho producers next year.

Idaho Producers Benefit from New Risk Management Insurance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency announces that the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation’s board has approved revisions to the Pasture, Rangeland,  Forage Pasture, Forage and Apiculture Pilot programs for Idaho producers next year.

Crop Insurance Scores Well in Profitability and Effectiveness Analysis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 8, 2009

Independent study by Grant Thornton LLP shows that Federal Crop Insurance Program compares favorably to property and casualty industry

 

OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS..A study released today by National Crop Insurance Services shows that over a 17 year period (1992-2008) the Federal Crop Insurance Program has been significantly less profitable than the Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance industry, is riskier than the Property and Casualty industry, and has consistently lower expense-to-premium ratios.

The analysis is the 2009 update of a study originally prepared in 2007 to respond to a critical report released by the General Accountability Office (GAO). The Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) program is a public-private partnership jointly managed by 15 designated private companies and the Risk Management Agency (RMA) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“One of the key elements of the analysis was that crop insurance averaged 14.2 percent per year in pre-tax net income over the period 1992-2008 whereas the property and casualty industry saw an average annual profitability of 17.5 percent,” said Robert Parkerson, President of National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the industry. Moreover, the report concludes that providing MPCI coverage entails greater risk than P&C.

The Grant Thornton update also addresses the issue of administrative and operating (A&O) expense reimbursements. Unlike P&C insurance, MPCI premiums do not include the insurer’s cost of delivering the program. Instead, MPCI program delivery costs are compensated by the Federal government via an A&O reimbursement paid on behalf of farmers. Under the arrangement with the RMA, MPCI companies expect to receive full reimbursement for their A&O expenses. However, in 2008, total expenses equaled 22.1 percent of gross premiums while A&O reimbursements totaled only 20.4 percent, resulting in a shortfall of $160.8 million. The report also examines the impact of further cuts in A&O reimbursements imposed by the 2008 Farm Bill effective for the 2009 year and discusses aspects of the legislation which will result in delayed reimbursement of A&O and underwriting gains starting in 2011 and 2012.

The study also compares the expense ratios of the MPCI program to those of the P&C industry. In each of the past ten years, the total expense to gross premium ratio for the MPCI program has been under 29 percent. For the past three years, the expense ratio has been under 25 percent, reaching a record low of 22.1 percent in 2008. Expense ratios for MPCI are substantially less than expense ratios for the P&C industry when put on a comparable basis.

The Risk Management Agency recently released a report prepared by Milliman, Inc., on the historical rate of return of the crop insurance program. “Once we have had an opportunity to thoroughly review the findings from that study and compare it to the results of the Grant Thornton report, we will release our analysis and provide more information to the public,” said Parkerson.

At this time, the private insurance companies and the Risk Management Agency are in the initial stages of renegotiating the Standard Reinsurance Agreement, which provides the financial framework for the private industry’s participation in the program. RMA’s financial integrity provisions impose stringent surplus requirements on MPCI companies. These requirements ensure that adequate resources will be available in the event of extreme or catastrophic weather events. With the additional regulatory oversight at the state level, the Federal crop insurance program is one of the most regulated insurance programs in the world. “The crop insurance industry is on strong financial footing, and we would like it to remain that way” said NCIS President Bob Parkerson. “Crop insurance is at the center of the farm economy – a strong crop insurance program benefits a much broader community than just farmers and ranchers. If you appreciate the low cost of food in this country, you can thank the crop insurance industry for bringing some stability to America’s agricultural industry,” added Parkerson.

NCIS is an international non-profit organization representing the interests of the private insurance companies that provide crop insurance and risk management tools to America’s farmers and ranchers.

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Producers with Grain Quality Questions Urged to Contact Crop Insurance Agents and Companies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS…National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) is urging farmers with grain quality concerns to contact their crop insurance agent or company to determine coverage options in case of damage to crops from disease, weatherrelated events, or other causes.

“While we, like everyone, are closely monitoring the mycotoxin situation and potential frost,” said Bob Parkerson, President of NCIS, “the key to protection is being proactive. Our job is to ensure that farmers have what they need to make informed decisions so that they can manage their risks and go about the business of farming.”

Part of the information farmers need to understand is exactly what quality adjustment is under the Federal crop insurance program. NCIS is providing some general guidance on quality adjustment, but stresses that since details vary, farmers should contact agents and companies directly.

Quality adjustment is a process that reduces the quantity of mature production when it meets the requirements provided in the crop’s policy provisions. This adjusted production to count is used for indemnity and actual production history purposes. Corn, Grain Sorghum, Soybeans, Sunflowers, Barley, Rye, Wheat, Canola, Flax, Oats, and Safflowers are grain crops that have additional quality adjustment statements in the Special Provisions of Insurance, which are a part of the crop’s respective county actuarial documents. The crop policy and the special provisions lists the types and levels of quality deficiencies that are covered, describes how and under what circumstances the various discounts will be applied and specifies who must obtain the samples and who can perform the determinations.

For example, the quality (excluding mycotoxins) of the grain for Crop Insurance purposes may be determined by:

  • A grader licensed under the United States Grain Standards Act or the United States Warehouse Act (USWA);
  • A grader licensed under State law and employed by a warehouse operator who has a storage agreement with the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC); or
  • A grader not licensed under State law, but who is employed by a warehouse operator who has a commodity storage agreement with the CCC and is in compliance with State law regarding warehouses.

For substances or conditions injurious to human or animal health (mycotoxins), samples must be analyzed by an approved laboratory that:

  • Is a disinterested third party;
  • Performs quantitative tests that are certified by Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS); and
  • Is a recognized commercial, governmental, or university testing laboratory.

For certain mycotoxins, such as aflatoxin, representative samples of the grain must be taken before the grain is moved into commercial or on‐farm storage.

Policyholders should contact their crop insurance agent or insurance company if they have questions about their crop insurance coverage or responsibilities.

National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) is a nonprofit trade association representing all of the private insurance companies who sell and service Federal crop insurance policies.

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Quarantine Crop Insurance Now Available for Citrus, Avocados

This fall, citrus and avocado growers looking to lessen the impact that a quarantine can have on their operations, can take advantage of a pilot quarantine crop insurance program soon to be offered through Mary Roach Insurance Agency Inc. The coverage will be available by late August or early September to cover the 2010-2011 crop year for all citrus-growing counties in California and most avocado-growing counties.

CUNA MUTUAL ACQUIRES FULL OWNERSHIP OF CROP INSURER PROAG Acquisition Supports Company’s Diversification, Growth Strategies and ProAg’s Growth Objectives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 3, 2009

MADISON, Wis./AMARILLO, Tex…. CUNA Mutual Group has reached agreement with Producers Ag Insurance Group (ProAg) to become sole owner of the multi-peril crop insurer, serving farmers and agricultural producers nationwide.

ProAg will operate as a standalone subsidiary of CUNA Mutual. The acquisition supports CUNA Mutual’s need to identify new growth opportunities and diversify the risks it insures. The agreement with the Amarillo, Texas based insurer will also enhance CUNA Mutual’s flexibility and financial strength while enabling ProAg to continue to expand its business.

“This acquisition builds on the initial investment we made in ProAg in 2007,” said Jeff Post, President & CEO, CUNA Mutual. “It in no way affects our commitment to credit unions. For us to continue to strengthen and diversify our financial position, we need to identify new avenues for growth.”

“In looking for new opportunities to build on our expertise and continue to strengthen our financial position, crop insurance and our recent acquisition of CPI Qualified Plan Consultants were naturals,” added Post. “These acquisitions build off our core competencies, help diversify our business, and provide revenue streams that give us flexibility to invest and grow in the future.

CUNA Mutual’s relationship with ProAg began in 2006 when it began serving as the lead reinsurer for ProAg as a direct writer of crop insurance. In 2007, CUNA Mutual acquired a minority ownership position in ProAg.

Since its partnership was formed with CUNA Mutual in 2006, ProAg has grown from a 70 employee company doing business in 25 states to a 390 employee company serving more than 40 states. ProAg is on pace to generate more than $530 million in premium in 2009.

“ProAg has been the fastest growing crop insurer this decade,” said ProAg Chairman and CEO Ben Latham. “CUNA Mutual’s support of our growth as a reinsurer and minority shareholder, as well as their commitment to our way of doing business, makes them the natural provider of the institutional support we need to reach our goals of becoming a market leader.

“I am excited about the possibilities for this company my family has spent more than 80 years building,” Latham added.

“We are excited having ProAg become part of the CUNA Mutual family,” added Post. “The Lathams have built ProAg into one of the premier crop insurance operations in the business.” Crop insurance protects farmers from financial losses that result from natural causes such as drought, excessive moisture, hail, wind, frost, insects and disease. Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) is an $8 billion industry in the U.S.

ProAg is a provider of federally sponsored MPCI and private Crop Hail Insurance. For more than 80 years, ProAg has served farmers and agents, while becoming an industry leader in the technology critical to today’s marketplace. ProAg is the 6th largest writer of MPCI and the 5th largest writer of crop hail coverage in the country. For more information, visit www.proag.com.

ProAg was advised by SFRi LLC (www.sfrillc.com), a boutique merchant banking firm serving the insurance and risk management industries.

CUNA Mutual Group is a leading provider of financial services to credit unions, their members and valued customers worldwide. With more than 70 years of market commitment, CUNA Mutual’s vision is unwavering: to be a trusted business partner who delivers service excellence and customer focused, bestin- class products. More information on the company is available on the company’s Web site at www.cunamutual.com.

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For more information:

CUNA Mutual:
Jim Buchheim 608/232-6327
jim.buchheim@cunamutual.com

Rick Uhlmann 608/231-8940
rick.uhlmann@cunamutual.com

ProAg:
Benson Latham 806/372-6785
benson@proag.com

Record Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments in 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The results are all but final…a record $8.6 billion in crop insurance indemnity payments were made to U.S. farmers for losses in 2008 because of droughts and flooding in parts of the country along with substantial price declines for some of the majority commodities.

“This was one very busy year for the industry,” said Bob Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS), the nonprofit industry trade association in Kansas City.  “Most of the claims came in late in the year because of the drop in commodity prices, but the private companies worked hard to process and pay many of them within just weeks after the loss was filed.”

The good news for taxpayers is that the lion’s share of those payments comes from the private insurance companies that sell and service the Federal crop insurance program.

“Crop insurance is key to keeping farmers financially stable during difficult times,” said Parkerson.  “And the private companies will be there to offer that protection in the good and bad weather years.”

There were several states whose farmers were paid significant indemnities, helping to support the rural communities in which they live.  Among those were: Illinois ($569 million); Indiana ($524 million); Iowa ($1.1 billion); Kansas ($411 million); Minnesota ($691 million); Nebraska ($414 million); North Dakota ($842 million); Ohio ($522 million); South Dakota ($400 million); and, Texas ($766 million).

“This is one of those years that demonstrates just how well the public/private partnership between USDA and the crop insurance industry works,” said Parkerson.

The “partnership” was legislated in 1980 when relatively few farmers used crop insurance to manage their risks.  More than 272 million acres, about 80 percent of the insurable acreage, were protected by crop insurance in 2008.

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Summer rains leave area farmers with a mess

Sam Hagest, of Valley View Farms in Borden, said he hoped to plant 300 to 400 more acres of corn and soybeans in addition to the 900 he managed to plant at the 1,300-acre farm, but the wet weather made that too risky.  “It costs so much now to plant crops, you have to be pretty much aware of what you are going to get back before you invest a lot in fertilizer and seed and things like that,” he said.

Summer rains leave area farmers with a mess

Sam Hagest, of Valley View Farms in Borden, said he hoped to plant 300 to 400 more acres of corn and soybeans in addition to the 900 he managed to plant at the 1,300-acre farm, but the wet weather made that too risky.  “It costs so much now to plant crops, you have to be pretty much aware of what you are going to get back before you invest a lot in fertilizer and seed and things like that,” he said.

Who is best suited to provide crop insurance?

A new report is likely to reignite the debate over who should deliver crop insurance policies to farmers and how those service providers should be compensated. Some say the federal government should stop paying so much in crop insurance subsidies, while others suggest that USDA employees could directly provide the same types of risk management tools. At the request of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and two other congressmen, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report that echoes what many industry officials have admitted: “Crop Insurance: Opportunities Exist to Reduce the Costs of Administering the Program.” Problem is, there is little agreement on exactly how the industry should cut costs while continuing to deliver quality service across all 50 states and stay profitable.

Who is best suited to provide crop insurance?

A new report is likely to reignite the debate over who should deliver crop insurance policies to farmers and how those service providers should be compensated. Some say the federal government should stop paying so much in crop insurance subsidies, while others suggest that USDA employees could directly provide the same types of risk management tools. At the request of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and two other congressmen, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report that echoes what many industry officials have admitted: “Crop Insurance: Opportunities Exist to Reduce the Costs of Administering the Program.” Problem is, there is little agreement on exactly how the industry should cut costs while continuing to deliver quality service across all 50 states and stay profitable.

Vilsack: Revitalize rural America

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited the Delta Center in Portageville, Mo., recently for a rural community forum to discuss USDA plans to revitalize and rebuild rural America. “President Obama and I are committed to investing in and revitalizing rural communities, in part because they play an important role in our national and international food delivery system,” Vilsack said.

Vilsack: Revitalize rural America

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited the Delta Center in Portageville, Mo., recently for a rural community forum to discuss USDA plans to revitalize and rebuild rural America. “President Obama and I are committed to investing in and revitalizing rural communities, in part because they play an important role in our national and international food delivery system,” Vilsack said.

Indiana farmers receive crop insurance payments

The crop insurance industry has paid more than $512 million to the farmers in Indiana for losses due to crop loss or decrease in commodity prices for 2008, according to the most recent summary of business data released by the Risk Management Agency. “The amount of indemnities paid may still continue to rise,” said Robert Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the crop insurance industry. “Not all losses have been paid yet because the Risk Management Agency just recently released the prices for the GRIP policies, and many still need to be finalized and paid.”

Illinois Farmers Receive Significant Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry has paid over $565 million to the farmers in Illinois for losses due to crop loss or decrease in commodity prices for 2008, according to the most recent summary of business data released by the Risk Management Agency.

“The amount of indemnities paid may still continue to rise,” said Robert Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the crop insurance industry. “Not all losses have been paid yet because the Risk Management Agency just recently released the prices for the GRIP policies, and many still need to be finalized and paid.”

The private insurance industry has had thousands of adjusters working these losses since crops were harvested, and won’t quit until the last loss is processed.

“Farmers in Illinois should be able to rest better knowing that crop insurance is protecting their hard work and investment,” Parkerson continued. “And the people in the rural communities where they live should be relieved that these farmers are able to stay in business because they planned ahead and bought crop insurance.”

The good news for taxpayers is that the lion’s share of those payments comes from the private insurance companies that sell and service the Federal crop insurance program. For their part, the private insurance companies have contributed substantially from the funds they set aside as loss reserves.

In total, the crop insurance industry has paid out over $8.5 billion in losses for 2008 nationwide.

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Indiana Farmers Receive Significant Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry has paid over $512 million to the farmers in Indiana for losses due to crop loss or decrease in commodity prices for 2008, according to the most recent summary of business data released by the Risk Management Agency.

“The amount of indemnities paid may still continue to rise,” said Robert Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the crop insurance industry. “Not all losses have been paid yet because the Risk Management Agency just recently released the prices for the GRIP policies, and many still need to be finalized and paid.”

The private insurance industry has had thousands of adjusters working these losses since crops were harvested, and won’t quit until the last loss is processed.

“Farmers in Indiana should be able to rest better knowing that crop insurance is protecting their hard work and investment,” Parkerson continued. “And the people in the rural communities where they live should be relieved that these farmers are able to stay in business because they planned ahead and bought crop insurance.”

The good news for taxpayers is that the lion’s share of those payments comes from the private insurance companies that sell and service the Federal crop insurance program. For their part, the private insurance companies have contributed substantially from the funds they set aside as loss reserves.

In total, the crop insurance industry has paid out over $8.5 billion in losses for 2008 nationwide.

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Iowa Farmers Receive Significant Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry has paid almost $1.1 billion to the farmers in Iowa for losses due to crop loss or decrease in commodity prices for 2008, according to the most recent summary of business data released by the Risk Management Agency.

“The amount of indemnities paid may still continue to rise,” said Robert Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the crop insurance industry. “Not all losses have been paid yet because the Risk Management Agency just recently released the prices for the GRIP policies, and many still need to be finalized and paid.”

The private insurance industry has had thousands of adjusters working these losses since crops were harvested, and won’t quit until the last loss is processed.

“Farmers in Iowa should be able to rest better knowing that crop insurance is protecting their hard work and investment,” Parkerson continued. “And the people in the rural communities where they live should be relieved that these farmers are able to stay in business because they planned ahead and bought crop insurance.”

The good news for taxpayers is that the lion’s share of those payments comes from the private insurance companies that sell and service the Federal crop insurance program. For their part, the private insurance companies have contributed substantially from the funds they set aside as loss reserves.

In total, the crop insurance industry has paid out over $8.5 billion in losses for 2008 nationwide.

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Minnesota Farmers Receive Significant Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry has paid almost $687 million to the farmers in Minnesota for losses due to crop loss or decrease in commodity prices for 2008, according to the most recent summary of business data released by the Risk Management Agency.

“The amount of indemnities paid may still continue to rise,” said Robert Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the crop insurance industry. “Not all losses have been paid yet because the Risk Management Agency just recently released the prices for the GRIP policies, and many still need to be finalized and paid.”

The private insurance industry has had thousands of adjusters working these losses since crops were harvested, and won’t quit until the last loss is processed.

“Farmers in Minnesota should be able to rest better knowing that crop insurance is protecting their hard work and investment,” Parkerson continued. “And the people in the rural communities where they live should be relieved that these farmers are able to stay in business because they planned ahead and bought crop insurance.”

The good news for taxpayers is that the lion’s share of those payments comes from the private insurance companies that sell and service the Federal crop insurance program. For their part, the private insurance companies have contributed substantially from the funds they set aside as loss reserves.

In total, the crop insurance industry has paid out over $8.5 billion in losses for 2008 nationwide.

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Nebraska Farmers Receive Significant Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry has paid almost $412 million to the farmers in Nebraska for losses due to crop loss or decrease in commodity prices for 2008, according to the most recent summary of business data released by the Risk Management Agency.

“The amount of indemnities paid may still continue to rise,” said Robert Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the crop insurance industry. “Not all losses have been paid yet because the Risk Management Agency just recently released the prices for the GRIP policies, and many still need to be finalized and paid.”

The private insurance industry has had thousands of adjusters working these losses since crops were harvested, and won’t quit until the last loss is processed.

“Farmers in Nebraska should be able to rest better knowing that crop insurance is protecting their hard work and investment,” Parkerson continued. “And the people in the rural communities where they live should be relieved that these farmers are able to stay in business because they planned ahead and bought crop insurance.”

The good news for taxpayers is that the lion’s share of those payments comes from the private insurance companies that sell and service the Federal crop insurance program. For their part, the private insurance companies have contributed substantially from the funds they set aside as loss reserves.

In total, the crop insurance industry has paid out over $8.5 billion in losses for 2008 nationwide.

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Ohio Farmers Receive Significant Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry has paid over $517 million to the farmers in Ohio for losses due to crop loss or decrease in commodity prices for 2008, according to the most recent summary of business data released by the Risk Management Agency.

“The amount of indemnities paid may still continue to rise,” said Robert Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the crop insurance industry. “Not all losses have been paid yet because the Risk Management Agency just recently released the prices for the GRIP policies, and many still need to be finalized and paid.”

The private insurance industry has had thousands of adjusters working these losses since crops were harvested, and won’t quit until the last loss is processed. “Farmers in Ohio should be able to rest better knowing that crop insurance is protecting their hard work and investment,” Parkerson continued. “And the people in the rural communities where they live should be relieved that these farmers are able to stay in business because they planned ahead and bought crop insurance.”

The good news for taxpayers is that the lion’s share of those payments comes from the private insurance companies that sell and service the Federal crop insurance program. For their part, the private insurance companies have contributed substantially from the funds they set aside as loss reserves.

In total, the crop insurance industry has paid out over $8.5 billion in losses for 2008 nationwide.

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South Dakota Farmers Receive Significant Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry has paid almost $396 million to the farmers in South Dakota for losses due to crop loss or decrease in commodity prices for 2008, according to the most recent summary of business data released by the Risk Management Agency.

“The amount of indemnities paid may still continue to rise,” said Robert Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the crop insurance industry. “Not all losses have been paid yet because the Risk Management Agency just recently released the prices for the GRIP policies, and many still need to be finalized and paid.”

The private insurance industry has had thousands of adjusters working these losses since crops were harvested, and won’t quit until the last loss is processed. “Farmers in South Dakota should be able to rest better knowing that crop insurance is protecting their hard work and investment,” Parkerson continued. “And the people in the rural communities where they live should be relieved that these farmers are able to stay in business because they planned ahead and bought crop insurance.”

The good news for taxpayers is that the lion’s share of those payments comes from the private insurance companies that sell and service the Federal crop insurance program. For their part, the private insurance companies have contributed substantially from the funds they set aside as loss reserves.

In total, the crop insurance industry has paid out over $8.5 billion in losses for 2008 nationwide.

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South Dakota Farmers Receive Significant Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry has paid almost $396 million to the farmers in South Dakota for losses due to crop loss or decrease in commodity prices for 2008, according to the most recent summary of business data released by the Risk Management Agency.

“The amount of indemnities paid may still continue to rise,” said Robert Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the crop insurance industry. “Not all losses have been paid yet because the Risk Management Agency just recently released the prices for the GRIP policies, and many still need to be finalized and paid.”

The private insurance industry has had thousands of adjusters working these losses since crops were harvested, and won’t quit until the last loss is processed. “Farmers in South Dakota should be able to rest better knowing that crop insurance is protecting their hard work and investment,” Parkerson continued. “And the people in the rural communities where they live should be relieved that these farmers are able to stay in business because they planned ahead and bought crop insurance.”

The good news for taxpayers is that the lion’s share of those payments comes from the private insurance companies that sell and service the Federal crop insurance program. For their part, the private insurance companies have contributed substantially from the funds they set aside as loss reserves.

In total, the crop insurance industry has paid out over $8.5 billion in losses for 2008 nationwide.

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Texas Farmers Receive Significant Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry has paid over $763 million to the farmers in Texas for losses due to crop loss or decrease in commodity prices for 2008, according to the most recent summary of business data released by the Risk Management Agency.

“The amount of indemnities paid may still continue to rise,” said Robert Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the crop insurance industry. “Not all losses have been paid yet because the Risk Management Agency just recently released the prices for the GRIP policies, and many still need to be finalized and paid.”

The private insurance industry has had thousands of adjusters working these losses since crops were harvested, and won’t quit until the last loss is processed.

“Farmers in Texas should be able to rest better knowing that crop insurance is protecting their hard work and investment,” Parkerson continued. “And the people in the rural communities where they live should be relieved that these farmers are able to stay in business because they planned ahead and bought crop insurance.”

The good news for taxpayers is that the lion’s share of those payments comes from the private insurance companies that sell and service the Federal crop insurance program. For their part, the private insurance companies have contributed substantially from the funds they set aside as loss reserves.

In total, the crop insurance industry has paid out over $8.5 billion in losses for 2008 nationwide.

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Texas Farmers Receive Significant Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry has paid over $763 million to the farmers in Texas for losses due to crop loss or decrease in commodity prices for 2008, according to the most recent summary of business data released by the Risk Management Agency.

“The amount of indemnities paid may still continue to rise,” said Robert Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the crop insurance industry. “Not all losses have been paid yet because the Risk Management Agency just recently released the prices for the GRIP policies, and many still need to be finalized and paid.”

The private insurance industry has had thousands of adjusters working these losses since crops were harvested, and won’t quit until the last loss is processed.

“Farmers in Texas should be able to rest better knowing that crop insurance is protecting their hard work and investment,” Parkerson continued. “And the people in the rural communities where they live should be relieved that these farmers are able to stay in business because they planned ahead and bought crop insurance.”

The good news for taxpayers is that the lion’s share of those payments comes from the private insurance companies that sell and service the Federal crop insurance program. For their part, the private insurance companies have contributed substantially from the funds they set aside as loss reserves.

In total, the crop insurance industry has paid out over $8.5 billion in losses for 2008 nationwide.

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Crop Insurance Industry Donates Money to Hidden Harvest Charity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry presented a check for over $2,500 to the Hidden Harvest charity located in the Coachella Valley in southern California. The money was raised during the crop insurance industry’s annual convention in February.

(Left to right) Randy Tronnes, Rural Community Insurance Services, Chairman of the NCIS Board of Directors; Christy Porter, Hidden Harvest; Bob Parkerson, President of National Crop Insurance Services; and, Sherri Scharff, National Crop Insurance Services.
(Left to right) Randy Tronnes, Rural Community Insurance Services, Chairman of the NCIS Board of Directors; Christy Porter, Hidden Harvest; Bob Parkerson, President of National Crop Insurance Services; and, Sherri Scharff, National Crop Insurance Services.

“We were very pleased with the generosity of the members of our association to give to such a great organization,” said Bob Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services, one of the trade associations co-sponsoring the annual convention. “It was the first year we have done something like this during our event, but I think it’s definitely something we’ll continue to do in the future.”

Hidden Harvest’s mission is to glean or “rescue” produce from Coachella Valley fields and packing houses. The Valley is one of the largest agricultural regions in the nation yet few people realize that millions of pounds of nutritious, locally-grown produce are left behind after the harvest is complete.

Hidden Harvest is the only organization in the country that pays low-income, experienced farm workers to glean fields. The food is given to more than 60 agencies that serve the poor. In addition, Hidden Harvest educates the media and public about hunger and nutrition issues, provides cooking classes so people learn how to prepare the food they are given, and run a non-perishable food bank serving an average of 1,200 families a month.

“We can’t thank you enough for your generous contribution,” said Christy Porter, founder and director of Hidden Harvest, told the attendees at the annual convention. “This will go such a long way in continuing the work we do at Hidden Harvest and helping the people of the Coachella Valley.”

Crop insurance helps make America’s farmers and ranchers world leaders in agriculture, allowing producers to stay competitive and be more innovative. Sixteen private crop insurance companies provide this important risk management tool to agricultural producers throughout the United States and abroad.

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Crop Insurance Industry Donates Money to Hidden Harvest Charity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry presented a check for over $2,500 to the Hidden Harvest charity located in the Coachella Valley in southern California. The money was raised during the crop insurance industry’s annual convention in February.

(Left to right) Randy Tronnes, Rural Community Insurance Services, Chairman of the NCIS Board of Directors; Christy Porter, Hidden Harvest; Bob Parkerson, President of National Crop Insurance Services; and, Sherri Scharff, National Crop Insurance Services.
(Left to right) Randy Tronnes, Rural Community Insurance Services, Chairman of the NCIS Board of Directors; Christy Porter, Hidden Harvest; Bob Parkerson, President of National Crop Insurance Services; and, Sherri Scharff, National Crop Insurance Services.

“We were very pleased with the generosity of the members of our association to give to such a great organization,” said Bob Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services, one of the trade associations co-sponsoring the annual convention. “It was the first year we have done something like this during our event, but I think it’s definitely something we’ll continue to do in the future.”

Hidden Harvest’s mission is to glean or “rescue” produce from Coachella Valley fields and packing houses. The Valley is one of the largest agricultural regions in the nation yet few people realize that millions of pounds of nutritious, locally-grown produce are left behind after the harvest is complete.

Hidden Harvest is the only organization in the country that pays low-income, experienced farm workers to glean fields. The food is given to more than 60 agencies that serve the poor. In addition, Hidden Harvest educates the media and public about hunger and nutrition issues, provides cooking classes so people learn how to prepare the food they are given, and run a non-perishable food bank serving an average of 1,200 families a month.

“We can’t thank you enough for your generous contribution,” said Christy Porter, founder and director of Hidden Harvest, told the attendees at the annual convention. “This will go such a long way in continuing the work we do at Hidden Harvest and helping the people of the Coachella Valley.”

Crop insurance helps make America’s farmers and ranchers world leaders in agriculture, allowing producers to stay competitive and be more innovative. Sixteen private crop insurance companies provide this important risk management tool to agricultural producers throughout the United States and abroad.

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2008 Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments Near $6.5 Billion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…Because of droughts and flooding in parts of the country along with substantial price declines for corn and soybeans, indemnity payments on crop losses during the 2008 growing season reached nearly $6.5 billion in mid February with more claims yet to be processed.

“All losses haven’t been paid yet either,” said Bob Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS), the nonprofit industry trade association in Kansas City. “There are still many losses yet to be finalized by the companies, and GRIP payments won’t be made until RMA approves the county yields for those policies, which doesn’t usually happen until April.”

The private insurance industry has had thousands of adjusters working these losses since crops were harvested, and won’t quit until the last loss is processed.

The good news for taxpayers is that the lion’s share of those payments comes from the private insurance companies that sell and service the Federal crop insurance program. For their part, the private insurance companies have contributed substantially from the funds they set aside as loss reserves.

Farmers, by paying roughly 50 percent of the cost of the subsidized premiums, effectively also share in the risk with other farmers, taxpayers and the private companies.

“This is one of those years that demonstrates just how well the public/private partnership between USDA and the crop insurance industry works,” said Parkerson.

The “partnership” was legislated in 1980 when relatively few farmers used crop insurance to manage their risks. Today more than 272 million acres, about 80 percent of the insurable acreage, have crop insurance protection worth more than $90 billion.

Chart of Weekly Indemnity Payments to Farmers for Cropyear 2008

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Judy Anderson Given Crop Insurance Industry Leadership Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, Kan — Judy Anderson, Rural Community Insurance Services, was presented with the Crop Insurance Industry Leadership Award at the 2009 Crop Insurance Industry Annual Convention. This award is given to individuals who are directly involved in the Crop Insurance Industry and who consistently serve the Industry by providing outstanding leadership.

Mrs. Anderson has been involved in the MPCI program in excess of 44 years, first working with the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and later moving to the private industry side of the business. She has been responsible for developing operating procedures for the Rural Community Insurance Services headquarters and the RCIS Sales and Service Offices, as well as handling day-to-day operations. The MPCI program is extremely paper intensive and Mrs. Anderson has been involved in developing technology solutions to streamline processes that have led to MPCI premium and liability being booked in a fast and efficient manner; a valuable service to both agents and producers.

As we all know, the MPCI program involves many complex federal rules and regulations, as well as many procedures that must be followed by all those involved in the business. Mrs. Anderson’s knowledge, experience and common sense have helped many RCIS employees and agents succeed in this challenging environment. Her knowledge of MPCI has assisted many others as she has been known as one of the people to go to with questions on policy and procedure.

Throughout the course of her career, she has testified on behalf of the crop insurance industry before the U.S. Senate. In addition, she has served on the NCIS MPCI Actuarial and Statistical Committee, has chaired the NCIS Training Committee, and has been a member of the NCIS Product Development Committee.

Photo Caption: (left to right) Robert Parkerson, President, National Crop Insurance Services; Judy Anderson, Rural Community Insurance Services; and, Randy Tronnes, Rural Community Insurance Services and Chairman of the NCIS Board of Directors.

Photo Caption: (left to right) Robert Parkerson, President, National Crop Insurance Services; Judy Anderson, Rural Community Insurance Services; and, Randy Tronnes, Rural Community Insurance Services and Chairman of the NCIS Board of Directors.

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Judy Anderson Given Crop Insurance Industry Leadership Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, Kan — Judy Anderson, Rural Community Insurance Services, was presented with the Crop Insurance Industry Leadership Award at the 2009 Crop Insurance Industry Annual Convention. This award is given to individuals who are directly involved in the Crop Insurance Industry and who consistently serve the Industry by providing outstanding leadership.

Mrs. Anderson has been involved in the MPCI program in excess of 44 years, first working with the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and later moving to the private industry side of the business. She has been responsible for developing operating procedures for the Rural Community Insurance Services headquarters and the RCIS Sales and Service Offices, as well as handling day-to-day operations. The MPCI program is extremely paper intensive and Mrs. Anderson has been involved in developing technology solutions to streamline processes that have led to MPCI premium and liability being booked in a fast and efficient manner; a valuable service to both agents and producers.

As we all know, the MPCI program involves many complex federal rules and regulations, as well as many procedures that must be followed by all those involved in the business. Mrs. Anderson’s knowledge, experience and common sense have helped many RCIS employees and agents succeed in this challenging environment. Her knowledge of MPCI has assisted many others as she has been known as one of the people to go to with questions on policy and procedure.

Throughout the course of her career, she has testified on behalf of the crop insurance industry before the U.S. Senate. In addition, she has served on the NCIS MPCI Actuarial and Statistical Committee, has chaired the NCIS Training Committee, and has been a member of the NCIS Product Development Committee.

Photo Caption: (left to right) Robert Parkerson, President, National Crop Insurance Services; Judy Anderson, Rural Community Insurance Services; and, Randy Tronnes, Rural Community Insurance Services and Chairman of the NCIS Board of Directors.

Photo Caption: (left to right) Robert Parkerson, President, National Crop Insurance Services; Judy Anderson, Rural Community Insurance Services; and, Randy Tronnes, Rural Community Insurance Services and Chairman of the NCIS Board of Directors.

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Spring crop insurance deadline nears; No federal disaster aid without crop insurance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2009

March 16 is the deadline for farmers across the country to buy crop insurance on many spring planted crops. It is especially important this year because eligibility for federal crop disaster aid is now dependent upon having crop insurance.

Any producer who wants to be eligible for the new federal Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE) in 2009 must buy crop insurance coverage on their insurable crops. SURE is the provision of the 2008 Farm Bill designed to replace ad hoc disaster assistance programs.

March 16 is also the deadline for making any changes to existing crop insurance policies.

Some of the crops that share the March 16 deadline are: corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, forage seeding, and many varieties of fresh and processed vegetables.

Which crops are insurable and what kinds of policies are available vary from state to state and county to county. To make sure you are eligible for SURE contact a crop insurance agent well before the March 16 deadline.

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Data presented in this article was provided by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency

National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) is a nonprofit trade association representing all of the private insurance companies who sell and service Federal crop insurance policies.

Spring crop insurance deadline nears; No federal disaster aid without crop insurance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2009

March 16 is the deadline for farmers across the country to buy crop insurance on many spring planted crops. It is especially important this year because eligibility for federal crop disaster aid is now dependent upon having crop insurance.

Any producer who wants to be eligible for the new federal Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE) in 2009 must buy crop insurance coverage on their insurable crops. SURE is the provision of the 2008 Farm Bill designed to replace ad hoc disaster assistance programs.

March 16 is also the deadline for making any changes to existing crop insurance policies.

Some of the crops that share the March 16 deadline are: corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, forage seeding, and many varieties of fresh and processed vegetables.

Which crops are insurable and what kinds of policies are available vary from state to state and county to county. To make sure you are eligible for SURE contact a crop insurance agent well before the March 16 deadline.

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Data presented in this article was provided by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency

National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) is a nonprofit trade association representing all of the private insurance companies who sell and service Federal crop insurance policies.

Crop insurance coverage for land emerging from CRP important

Federal crop insurance policies require that acreage must have been planted and harvested in at least one of the three previous crop years unless such acreage was left unplanted in order to comply with any other USDA program. Therefore, acreage coming out of a Conservation Reserve Program contract would be insurable. To establish a production guarantee for the acreage emerging from CRP, the policyholder may provide acceptable production history for the year(s) the crop was grown prior to the acreage’s enrollment in CRP. If the crop was grown prior to enrollment in CRP; but, acceptable production history is not provided, yields are established differently based on whether the CRP acres are a separate unit.

Crop Insurance Questions

February has barely begun, but farmers across the state are already looking towards spring planting. But this year won`t be as easy to figure out what crops to put in the ground. And that`s making it harder for farmers to figure out what they should get crop insurance for. Some are attending meetings to learn about the changes in coverage this year. Every year, farmers need to submit applications for crop insurance. The deadline is March 15. But that`s just six weeks away, and with some farmers looking at six feet of snow in their fields, this year`s crop insurance is sure to be more of a gamble than ever.

NCIS Launches New Website

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2009

Member-supported site will provide a resource to producers, government officials, journalists and those in the agricultural community

OVERLAND PARK, Kan — National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the crop insurance industry, has launched a new website. The URL is: www.ncis.staging.wpengine.com

The website is part of a new effort spearheaded by NCIS to provide information to the public and to decision-makers and key influencers about the benefits and importance of the Federal crop insurance program.

“We have a great story to tell and the website is a terrific way to put a lot of information in one place,” said Robert Parkerson, President of National Crop Insurance Services.  “We have found that while producers and those familiar with the agricultural economy understand the value of a strong crop insurance program, average citizens and many elected officials really do not know enough about how crop insurance works or why it is so essential to the farm economy,” Parkerson added.

The site contains information about the history of the crop insurance program and how it works; provides video segments from individuals who have had experiences with the program; shows the growth of the program over time and directs visitors to the 16 private companies that provide coverage across the country.  Visitors to the website will be also able to “sign up” to show their support for the crop insurance program, and are given the opportunity to submit questions or comments about the program.

The site also has news stories, press releases, reports, testimony and other documents of interest.   There are links to the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) and to NCIS member companies.  The website will be kept up-to-date with current and relevant information about the crop insurance program as it changes.

“In the 1990s, Congress challenged the industry to increase participation in the crop insurance program.  Working with the USDA, the industry met that challenge.  We now see 80 percent of the farmland in the US covered by the federal crop insurance program,” said Dr. Keith Collins, former chief economist for the USDA and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. “The crop insurance program provides an essential underpinning to the nation’s farm economy,” Collins added.  Dr. Collins is currently serving as a consultant to National Crop insurance Services.

Under the Federal crop insurance program’s unique public-private partnership, 16 private companies are currently authorized by RMA to write policies. The private companies are obligated to sell insurance to every eligible farmer who requests it and must retain a portion of the risk on every policy.  The Federal crop insurance program covered $90 billion of crops in 2008, insuring more than 100 individual crops on more than 271 million acres.

“We want to make sure that policymakers in Washington understand that our industry is at the center of the farm economy.  A strong crop insurance program benefits a much broader community,” said NCIS President Bob Parkerson.  “Our new website is a great resource for those who want to learn more and stay informed about the issues that affect crop insurance.  Please take a look,” Parkerson added.

The website can be accessed through www.ncis.staging.wpengine.com

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NCIS Launches New Website

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2009

Member-supported site will provide a resource to producers, government officials, journalists and those in the agricultural community

OVERLAND PARK, Kan — National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the crop insurance industry, has launched a new website. The URL is: www.ncis.staging.wpengine.com

The website is part of a new effort spearheaded by NCIS to provide information to the public and to decision-makers and key influencers about the benefits and importance of the Federal crop insurance program.

“We have a great story to tell and the website is a terrific way to put a lot of information in one place,” said Robert Parkerson, President of National Crop Insurance Services.  “We have found that while producers and those familiar with the agricultural economy understand the value of a strong crop insurance program, average citizens and many elected officials really do not know enough about how crop insurance works or why it is so essential to the farm economy,” Parkerson added.

The site contains information about the history of the crop insurance program and how it works; provides video segments from individuals who have had experiences with the program; shows the growth of the program over time and directs visitors to the 16 private companies that provide coverage across the country.  Visitors to the website will be also able to “sign up” to show their support for the crop insurance program, and are given the opportunity to submit questions or comments about the program.

The site also has news stories, press releases, reports, testimony and other documents of interest.   There are links to the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) and to NCIS member companies.  The website will be kept up-to-date with current and relevant information about the crop insurance program as it changes.

“In the 1990s, Congress challenged the industry to increase participation in the crop insurance program.  Working with the USDA, the industry met that challenge.  We now see 80 percent of the farmland in the US covered by the federal crop insurance program,” said Dr. Keith Collins, former chief economist for the USDA and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. “The crop insurance program provides an essential underpinning to the nation’s farm economy,” Collins added.  Dr. Collins is currently serving as a consultant to National Crop insurance Services.

Under the Federal crop insurance program’s unique public-private partnership, 16 private companies are currently authorized by RMA to write policies. The private companies are obligated to sell insurance to every eligible farmer who requests it and must retain a portion of the risk on every policy.  The Federal crop insurance program covered $90 billion of crops in 2008, insuring more than 100 individual crops on more than 271 million acres.

“We want to make sure that policymakers in Washington understand that our industry is at the center of the farm economy.  A strong crop insurance program benefits a much broader community,” said NCIS President Bob Parkerson.  “Our new website is a great resource for those who want to learn more and stay informed about the issues that affect crop insurance.  Please take a look,” Parkerson added.

The website can be accessed through www.ncis.staging.wpengine.com

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Fall crop insurance required for disaster eligibility in 2009; No coverage on wheat and barley now, means no disaster aid next year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2008

OVERLAND PARK, Kan — Any producer who wants to be eligible for disaster assistance on 2009 summer crops must have crop insurance coverage on all insurable fall planted crops before the sales closing deadline (September 30, 2008 for winter wheat, barley, and forage production for instance.)

The new Farm Bill requires crop insurance, on all acres of any insurable crop, or Noninsured Assistance Program (NAP) coverage on all acres of uninsurable crops, in order to be eligible for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE).

If you fail to sign up for crop insurance on your fall planted crops you will not be protected under SURE for your corn and soybeans next summer, even if you buy crop insurance for those crops.

The more crop insurance coverage you have, the more your SURE guarantee will be.

Authorized in the Farm Bill, SURE is effective for the 2008 crop year and runs through the 2011 crop year. SURE will be based on whole farm revenue. It will be triggered by a USDA Secretarial disaster declaration for a county. Contiguous counties are automatically eligible.

It will also be available to any farm where, during the calendar year, the total loss of production on the farm, because of weather, is greater than 50 percent of the normal production on the farm.

For insured crops, the SURE guarantee is 115 percent times the crop insurance price election times the crop insurance coverage level times the adjusted crop insurance yield. Crop insurance coverage levels will determine the size of the guarantee.

Some of the more common fall planted crops with the September 30 deadline include: winter wheat, oats, barley, rye, and forage production.

SURE is Major Shift from the Past
According to Art Barnaby, Kansas State University, growers’ ad hoc disaster aid used to be based on 65 percent coverage regardless of their crop insurance coverage, including the minimum Catastrophic coverage (CAT). That aid was also based on individual crops by county.

“The SURE program is a whole farm revenue guarantee and is based on the crop insurance coverage selected by farmers. Those who only select CAT coverage will have their SURE coverage based on 50 percent coverage at the 55 percent price. However, farmers insuring at the 75 percent level will have their SURE disaster aid based on 75 percent coverage at 100 percent of the price election,” Barnaby said.

If no crop insurance is available for your crop you must obtain Noninsured Assistance Program (NAP) coverage from the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

According to Barnaby, there are two limits on the SURE payments.

The per farm SURE cap equals 90 percent of expected revenue. The whole farm revenue to count plus SURE payments cannot exceed 90 percent times planted acres times adjusted actual production history yield (used to set crop insurance yields) times “insurance price guarantee.”

The price is expected to be the national average USDA price for the marketing year that follows. So there will be a long wait for a SURE payment compared to when crop insurance loss payments are received.

The other limit to SURE is a maximum payment amount of $100,000. Most farmers will have a $200,000 payment limit because a spouse also qualifies for a $100,000 payment limit.

Assure Your Eligibility
If you want to maintain your eligibility for disaster aid in 2009 you must sign up for crop insurance coverage on every acre of every insurable fall planted crop before the September 30, 2008 deadline.

If you have any questions, contact a crop insurance agent well before the deadline.

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NCIS is a non-profit trade association representing the private crop insurance industry. Funding for the development of this release was provided by the USDA Risk Management Agency as part of a cooperative agreement with NCIS.