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Contact: John Shea, 202-690-0437

FCIC BOARD EXTENDS BIOTECHNOLOGY PILOT COVERAGE AREAS AND QUALIFYING HYBRIDS

WASHINGTON, Aug 18, 2008 - USDA's Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board of Directors, at its Aug 14, 2008 meeting, approved additional seed technologies and states for a premium rate reduction for producers who plant certain qualifying corn hybrids. The Board's approval is conditioned upon the submitters' cooperation with Risk Management Agency (RMA) to develop a single unified biotechnology endorsement and work out associated details.

The biotechnology endorsement pilot program applies to approved corn seed hybrids containing specific biotech traits that enhance protection against above-ground lepidopteron pests (such as moths and their larvae) and below-ground corn rootworm damage, and confer tolerance to certain herbicides.

Under the resolutions approved by the FCIC Board, the following seed technologies and states will be eligible for coverage beginning with the 2009 crop year:

  • Monsanto YieldGard Plus with Roundup Ready Corn 2, YieldGard VT Triple, and YieldGard VT Triple PRO hybrids for non-irrigated corn for grain in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Nebraska, in addition to the original pilot states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota, submitted by the Western Agricultural Insurance Company, working with the Monsanto Company. In addition, irrigated corn for grain acreage planted to the qualifying Monsanto hybrids would be eligible for coverage in Kansas and Nebraska.
  • Pioneer and Dow AgroSciences Herculex Xtra and Herculex Xtra RR2 hybrids for non-irrigated corn for grain in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, submitted by Stonington Insurance Company and Agro National, LLC, in conjunction with Dow AgroSciences, LLC, and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
  • Syngenta Agrisure CB and RW stacked and Agrisure 3000GT hybrids for non-irrigated corn for grain in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, submitted by John Deere Risk Protection, Inc, in conjunction with Syngenta Seeds, Inc.

The pilot program is an endorsement to the Coarse Grains Crop Provisions, the Crop Revenue Coverage Corn Provisions, and the Revenue Assurance Corn Provisions. Insured producers will be required to purchase a buy-up level of coverage and plant at least 75 percent of their insured corn acres in a unit to a qualifying corn hybrid. RMA will release the biotechnology endorsement and related materials upon completion later this fall, and will include revisions for failure to comply that were viewed by some as too onerous.