The Farm Bill resulted in many new features for crop insurance. The Enterprise Unit discount, which had been a pilot program, was made permanent. Separate enterprise units became available for irrigated and non-irrigated crops beginning in 2015. Farmers are also able to have separate coverage levels for irrigated and non-irrigated acres. A continuing issue has been the loss of insurable coverage that a farmer suffers as the result of low yields resulting from disaster.
The 2014 Farm Bill features a provision, the Actual Production History Yield Exclusion (Yield Exclusion), which allows farmers to exclude any year from their insurable production (APH) if the county’s yield per planted acre for the crop in that year is at least 50 percent below the simple average of the previous 10 consecutive years of the yield per planted acre for the crop in the county. This provision also applies to contiguous counties and allows for the separation of irrigated and non-irrigated acres.
Another provision enables price elections for all organic crops produced in compliance with USDA standards to reflect the actual retail or wholesale prices received by producers for their crop. As a result, organic price elections have increased to 56 crops in 2016 compared to just four crops in 2011.
Together, these and other changes in the Farm Bill will increase a farmer’s ability to more precisely fit the crop insurance risk solutions to the needs of his/her operation.