The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced recently that it continues to make progress in implementing provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill that will strengthen and expand insurance coverage options for farmers and ranchers. The new Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), available through the federal crop insurance program and set to begin with the 2015 crop year, is designed to help protect producers from yield and market volatility.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack pointed out that this nation’s producers work hard to produce a sufficient amount of safe and nutritious food for the country. “It’s critical that they have crop insurance options to effectively manage risks and ensure that they do not lose everything due to events beyond their control,” he said. Vilsack added that USDA has made it a priority to ensure the Supplemental Coverage Option was available to help farmers in this upcoming crop year.
The 2014 Farm Bill strengthens and expands crop insurance by providing more risk management options for farmers and ranchers and by making crop insurance more affordable for beginning farmers. SCO, which is administered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA), further strengthens the farm safety net.
SCO will be available for corn, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, spring barley, spring wheat, and winter wheat in selected counties for the 2015 crop year. Producers should contact their crop insurance agents to discuss eligibility in time to sign up for winter wheat coverage. RMA plans to make SCO more widely available by adding more counties and crops. Information on SCO for 2015 winter and spring wheat is available on the RMA website.
SCO is a county-level policy endorsement that is in addition to an underlying crop insurance policy, and covers a portion of losses not covered by the same crop’s underlying policy. Producers who elect to participate in Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC), which is offered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), are not eligible for SCO for the crop and farm participating in ARC.
Vilsack noted today’s announcement was made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.