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Contact:
John Shea, 202-690-0437

RMA EXPANDS PASTURE, RANGELAND, FORAGE INSURANCE AVAILABILITY
FOR 2011 CROP YEAR

WASHINGTON, Jun 30, 2010 - RMA Administrator William J. Murphy has announced expansion of the Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage (PRF) plan of insurance along with enhancements to its Vegetation Index program for the 2011 crop year. RMA is able to expand and enhance this program because of savings recently generated by renegotiation of the Standard Reinsurance Agreement.

“We're pleased to extend availability of the PRF plan of insurance to more producers across the country,” Murphy said. “Adding to our coverage areas and making other enhancements to the Vegetation Index products will provide additional support for producers facing production risks during 2011 and beyond.”

Under the Rainfall Index (RI)-PRF plan of insurance, RMA will expand coverage for the 2011 crop year to specific counties in Colorado, and all counties in the states of California, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas, bringing the total number of States where the program is available to 16.

The Vegetation Index (VI)-PRF will be expanded to the balance of counties in Idaho, Oregon, and South Dakota, and all counties in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah for 2011, bringing the State total where VI-PRF is available to 9.

RMA has also received requests for further expansion of PRF in Nevada, Arkansas, and Minnesota. RMA will take the expansion request for the 2012 crop year to the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board of Directors later this year for their consideration and potential approval.

For specific coverage areas under both the RI and VI plans, please see the 2011 availability map.

Other enhancements to the VI-PRF and VI Apiculture plans of insurance include removing the temperature constraint component from the United States Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science (USGS EROS) data set. RMA determined the temperature constraint added complexity to the index with minimal benefits. To compensate for removal of the temperature constraint, RMA is adding a total loss factor, representing the level of loss at which the maximum indemnity amount (a 100-percent payment) is payable.

PRF is an area risk policy covering livestock grazing and forage land, based on a Rainfall Index or a Vegetation Index. The Rainfall Index, using National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center data, bases insurance indemnities on the deviation from normal precipitation within the area for a specific time period selected by the producer. The Vegetation Index uses the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data from USGS EROS. The NDVI is an alternative measure of vegetation greenness and correlates to vegetation conditions and productive capacity. Plants that are not stressed generally have a higher NDVI value. Losses calculated using the Vegetation Index are also indemnified based on the deviation from normal.

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