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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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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Kansas Farmers Receive Significant Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry has paid over $409 million to the farmers in Kansas 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 Kansas 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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Missouri Farmers Receive Significant Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry has paid over $322 million to the farmers in Missouri 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 Missouri 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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North Dakota Farmers Receive Significant Crop Insurance Indemnity Payments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry has paid over $825 million to the farmers in North 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 North 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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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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Industry Opposes Proposed Cuts to Federal Crop Insurance Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2009

Further reductions will restrict access to producers and undermine the viability of the program

 

OVERLAND PARK, KAN…The crop insurance industry is very concerned about how the Obama Administration’s proposed cuts to the crop insurance program would affect the farmers and ranchers it protects, and the private insurance companies who administer the program.

Crop prices have declined sharply from a year ago while production costs have remained high. Just Thursday, this decline in margins caused USDA to project a large drop in net farm cash income in 2009.

“If the premium subsidies are cut, causing an increase in farmers’ insurance premiums, that actually takes money out of their pockets and out of the rural economy,” said Bob Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS), the nonprofit industry trade association in Kansas City. “Isn’t that the exact opposite of what the Stimulus Bill set out to accomplish?”

The 2008 Farm Bill cut $6.5 billion (over the next 10 years) from the crop insurance program just last year.

“We are just now beginning to see how this will affect the crop insurance program,” said Parkerson. “Many of the provisions haven’t been implemented yet and I just don’t know how we can sustain even more cuts and still maintain a viable program.”

The industry is in the midst of paying out historical losses for 2008 due in large part to long-term drought, floods, and substantial price declines for corn and soybeans. Indemnity payments on crop losses during the 2008 growing season have already reached nearly $6.7 billion, the largest amount ever paid, with more claims yet to be processed.

“All losses haven’t been paid yet either,” said Bob Parkerson, “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 companies welcome an opportunity to sit down with the Administration to discuss the issues surrounding the proposed budget.

“We are confident that once we can talk to Secretary Vilsack and his staff he will better understand how vital this program is to protecting America’s farmers and ranchers and sustaining businesses in the rural economy,” said Parkerson.

No farm program helps protect the environment and leverage value from taxpayers’ money more than the Federal crop insurance program. Proposed cuts to the program would actually raise taxpayers’ costs to protect a safe and affordable supply of food. The crop insurance industry insures over 272 million acres and protects $90 billion in America’s food supply. Over 80 percent of the insurable acres are protected.

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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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Ruth Gerdes Awarded the Crop Insurance Industry Outstanding Service Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, Kan — Ruth Gerdes, Auburn Agency, is the recipient of the Crop Insurance Industry Outstanding Service Award in recognition for outstanding service and outreach to small, limited resource, and socially disadvantaged farmers. Randy Tronnes, Chairman of the National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) Board of Directors, and Robert Parkerson, President of NCIS, presented the award at the 2009 Crop Insurance Industry Annual Convention.

Mrs. Gerdes began her crop insurance career in an agency located in Auburn, Nebraska, and worked her way to becoming a partner in the agency. She is known throughout southeast Nebraska and southwest Iowa as one of the most knowledgeable insurance agents specializing in multiple-peril crop insurance, and services policies throughout this region. Mrs. Gerdes provides an annual one-day seminar to producers to educate and provide them with critical knowledge for quality decision making.

In addition to her agency in Auburn, Mrs. Gerdes works closely with an agent in Marysville, Missouri, and also an agent in Hillsboro, Ohio. She assists in marketing seminars for their producers and provides processing services for the policies and acreage reports.

Mrs. Gerdes has been very active in the political arena over the year, developing strong relationships with political staffs and members of congress. Mrs. Gerdes’ relationship with Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska was vital in gaining approval of Crop Revenue Coverage. Without the senator’s strong advocacy and relationship with Mrs. Gerdes, the product may not have been approved by FCIC. She also served several terms on the National Corn Growers Board, which was a strong partner in the approval of CRC. In addition, she has been very active in industry committees sponsored both by the private industry and FCIC.

Mrs. Gerdes and her husband, Myron, live on and operate a large farming operation near Auburn, which has included cattle, hogs and program crops.

Photo Caption: Accepting the award on behalf of Mrs. Gerdes who was unable to attend the convention was Joanie Grimes of the Auburn Agency of Ohio (center). Presenting the award was (left) Robert Parkerson, President of National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS), and, Randy Tronnes (right), Rural Community Insurance Services and Chairman of the NCIS Board of Directors.

Photo Caption: Accepting the award on behalf of Mrs. Gerdes who was unable to attend the convention was Joanie Grimes of the Auburn Agency of Ohio (center). Presenting the award was (left) Robert Parkerson, President of National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS), and, Randy Tronnes (right), 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.

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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Crop Insurance Scores Well in Profitability and Effectiveness Analysis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2008

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

OVERLAND PARK, Kan — A study released today by National Crop Insurance Services shows that over a 16 year period (1992-2007) the Federal Crop Insurance Program is significantly less profitable than the property and casualty industry and has consistently lower expense-to-premium ratios.

The analysis is the 2008 update of a study prepared last year following a General Accountability Office (GAO) report that was critical of the profitability and costs associated with the Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) program. The MPCI program is a public-private partnership jointly managed by 16 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 14.7 percent per year in pre-tax net income over the period 1992-2007 whereas the property and casualty industry saw an average annual profitability of 18.6 percent,” said Robert Parkerson, President of National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the industry.

These findings are consistent with studies prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1997 and 1999 as well as a report by Deloitte & Touche in 2004. The study also examines expense ratios, comparing those of the MPCI program with the P&C industry. In each year for the past ten years, the total expense to gross premium ratio for the MPCI program has been under 30 percent. Expense ratios for MPCI are substantially less than expense ratios for the P&C industry when put on a comparable basis.

“What we now have is a solid analysis, covering a 16-year timeframe, including the most recently available data. The agricultural economy is cyclical by nature; and crop insurance is no exception. When examined over a broader time period, which is necessary to evaluate insurance properly, MPCI profitability is in line with other types of insurance,” said Dr. Keith Collins, former chief economist for the USDA and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. Dr. Collins is currently serving as a consultant to National Crop insurance Services.

The new Grant Thornton update also addresses the issue of administrative and operating (A&O) expense reimbursements. Under the current arrangement with the RMA, MPCI companies are expected to receive full reimbursement for their A&O expenses. However, in 2006, total expenses equaled 24.6 percent of gross premiums while A&O reimbursements received totaled only 20.3 percent. This resulted in a shortfall of $201.2 million. In 2007, the shortfall grew to $233.5 million.

The MPCI program covered $90 billion of crops in 2008, insuring more than 100 individual crops on more than 271 million acres. Because insured liabilities and premiums are directly linked to expected crop prices, the industry believes that lower crop prices in 2009 will reduce industry revenues compared with 2008.

The Grant Thornton report also examines the issue of risk as a variable in profitability. The report concludes that providing MPCI coverage entails greater risk than P&C. The report also examines the impact of the 2008 Farm Bill which reduces the rate of reimbursement of allowable A&O expenses and delays payments to MPCI companies for both A&O expenses and underwriting gains.

RMA’s financial integrity provisions impose stringent surplus requirements on MPCI companies. These requirements insure 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.

“In this period of financial uncertainty, we want to make sure that the policymakers in Washington understand that our industry is on strong financial footing,” 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. Crop insurance gives the farmer access to financing. And with the volatility in commodity prices we have seen this year, we believe that we will see a growing interest in revenue protection for producers,” Parkerson added.

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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.

The Crop Insurance Industry Provides Reassurance to Farmers Impacted by the Midwest Floods

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2008

OVERLAND PARK, Kan — Flooding across the Midwest has devastated communities across several states. Among those hardest hit are farmers, who have lost homes, livestock and thousands of acres of farmland.

“We haven’t seen an event like this since 1993,” said Bob Parkerson, President of National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS). “We want to reassure farmers that they are not alone. The crop insurance industry will stand by them. We have built reserves over the last few years with good weather, and have the financial stability and resources to help them assess their options, make the best decisions for their farms, and cover claims that will allow them to be back in business next season.”

Parkerson added, “We have been through this before, and will work with the Risk Management Agency to once again get money into the hands of producers as quickly as possible.”

Insurance Payments:
Prevented planting claims and whole units that are lost from the flood do not have to wait until the crops go to harvest, and therefore will be paid much faster than claims deferred until harvest. Farmers will also receive their indemnity payments from the crop insurance policies much earlier than they will payments from the disaster program that is part of the 2008 Farm Bill.

Tips and Information for Farmers:
Following are tips and information for farmers impacted by the Midwest floods:

  1. Contact your agent if you have not already done so; they are your best resource in assessing your situation
  2. There are provisions in place within most crop insurance policies, including replanting and prevented planting, that can help you recover your losses.
  3. You have options. The Federal Crop Insurance Program underwent significant legislative reform following 1993, and now many farmers have alternatives to manage their individual farm-risk situations.

Provided below is a summary of the crop insurance policy benefits available to most insured farmers not only in the Midwest, but famers across the country facing the difficulties of the start of the 2008 growing season.

  • If the farmer is able to plant his/her crop in a timely manner, but severe weather follows, such as the current Midwest flooding conditions, crop insurance benefits available to the farmer who has individual coverage are as follows:
    • If crop damage occurs early, farmer may be able to receive a replant payment and replant the crop.
    • If famer cannot replant timely, but growing conditions improve, an indemnity may be payable and the farmer can plant a second crop which may also be insured.
    • If farmer cannot replant the original crop or plant a second crop, the farmer will receive an indemnity for his/her loss.
  • If the farmer is unable to plant his/her crop due to flooding and/or excess moisture conditions, crop insurance benefits available to the farmer with individual coverage are as follows:
    • If the farmer cannot plant original crop or switch to a new crop if conditions improve, the farmer may receive a “prevented planting” indemnity.
    • If conditions improve, the farmer may plant a second crop which can be insured and a reduced indemnity can be paid to the farmer for the original crop that could not be planted.

Prevented planting and replant benefits are not available under the group plans of insurance.

The Federal Crop Insurance Program:
The federal crop insurance program is a public-private partnership, the industry and federal government work hand in hand. The crop insurance program is available to all producers on an equal basis and provides the financial stability for farmers and ranchers, including access to capital.

National Crop Insurance Services
National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) is an international not-for-profit organization representing the interests of more than 60 crop insurance companies. NCIS member companies write Crop-Hail Insurance; Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI), the federally subsidized risk management program; and, privately developed crop insurance products totaling approximately $6.6 billion in premium, with liability totaling approximately $67 billion. These companies service all farmers participating in the federal program, including limited-resource and socially-disadvantaged farmers. In partnership with the government, these private companies are the safety net that equitably provides risk management to the American farmer. NCIS members range in size from one-state companies to national writers, as well as foreign company members.

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Crop insurance deadline March 17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 29, 2008

This story covers the impending deadline for signing up for crop insurance for all but the very southern tier of states.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan — In most states farmers have only until March 17 to sign up for federally subsidized crop insurance on spring planted crops, or to make any changes to existing policies.

In many states, last year’s drought produced record crop insurance payouts. Producers, trying to protect their marketing position on surging grain prices invested in high levels of crop insurance protection. They were protected by those risk management decisions.

This was especially true in Oklahoma ($159 million), Delaware ($17 million), and Maryland ($35 million). Also hard hit were South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oregon, and Virginia.

Nationally over $3 billion has been paid out in indemnities as of February 25. What is interesting here is that less than half of the premiums were paid out in indemnities (48 percent). The crop insurance program worked as intended in 2007. Farmers shared the risks across the entire country and across 400 insurable crops.

The futures prices for grains are again high, and producers in 38 northern and central states have until March 17 to make this year’s crop insurance decisions.

In many cases, premiums and established prices are different from last year. Producers should contact a crop insurance agent well before the deadline and ask for a free comparison of their crop insurance options.

The crops that are insurable and which types of policies are available vary from state to state and county to county so it is critical for producers to contact a local crop insurance agent for accurate information.

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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.

Linneman Receives Crop Insurance Industry Leadership Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2008

OVERLAND PARK, Kan — Curt Linneman, Vice President and Claims Manager for Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa, was presented with the Crop Insurance Industry Leadership Award at the 2008 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.

Mr. Linneman has devoted over 30 years to the crop insurance industry and to Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa. Throughout his tenure he has not only willingly served in whatever capacity requested of him, but has also spearheaded critical industry research that went on to change standards, procedures, and materials used in the crop adjusting process.

Mr. Linneman is well-known for his enthusiastic attitude and for his commitment to doing things the right way. He routinely stresses the importance of both fairness and accuracy in all that is done for crop insurance agents and policyholders. He also has a natural ability to educate and lead others, and his enthusiasm for this business is infectious. Several people that have worked with Curt have decided to devote their own careers to the crop insurance industry as well.

Mr. Linneman served on the NCIS Iowa Regional/State Committee and was instrumental in the soybean node removal study and the soybean stand reduction trial. He has also served on the CIRB Education & Research Committee since 2004. Throughout his career, Mr. Linneman has actively participated in numerous studies with state universities conducting claims-related research on crops.

Criteria for the Crop Insurance Industry Leadership Award are: strong personal and business ethics; demonstrated service above and beyond to the Crop Insurance Industry; and, represents themselves, their company, and the Crop Insurance Industry well.

The entire crop insurance industry thanks Mr. Linneman for his hard work and dedication to the Industry and congratulates him on his success.

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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.

AGR Deadline Near for Rhode Island Producers

RHODE ISLAND ONLY
January 14, 2008

OVERLAND PARK, KS — Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) insurance for farmers and ranchers is again being offered in Rhode Island for 2008. The deadline to apply for AGR, or to make changes to existing AGR policies, is January 31, 2008.

AGR provides whole farm income protection under an umbrella-type policy that covers income from all crops and some livestock. Unlike traditional crop insurance guarantees based on yields, AGR provides a guarantee against a significant decline in overall farm income from the average of the most recent five years.

To purchase AGR insurance, please contact a local crop insurance agent. For a list of crop insurance agents go to the Risk Management Agency website athttp://www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agents/.

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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.