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Farm Bill - 2014

The Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the 2014 Farm Bill, was signed by President Obama on Feb. 7, 2014. The Act continues programs with modifications, and authorizes several new programs administered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA).

This Farm Bill strengthens crop insurance by providing more risk management options for farmers and ranchers and by making crop insurance more affordable for beginning farmers. It continues the growth of the crop insurance program, and provides avenues to expand farm safety net options for organic producers and specialty crop producers. It provides for increased program integrity, guaranteeing that tax dollars are used effectively and efficiently as we expand the farm safety net.

There are many changes to the crop insurance program. The following links provide information on some of the major changes for the Federal crop insurance program. Find a crop insurance agent to discuss available options for your farm or ranch.

Farm Bill - 2014


Actual Production History (APH) Yield Exclusion (YE)

The APH Yield Exclusion is a provision of the 2014 Farm Bill. The provision allows farmers to exclude eligible yields which occur from exceptionally bad years (such as a year in which a natural disaster or other extreme weather occurs) from their production history when calculating yields used to establish their crop insurance coverage. The amount of insurance available to a farmer is based on the farmer's average historical yields. In the past, a year of particularly low yields that occurred due to severe weather beyond the farmer's control would reduce the amount of insurance available to the farmer in future years.

Please view APH YE Fact Sheet, Frequently Asked Questions, or the APH YE page for additional information.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Benefits

The intent of the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers provisions is to assist insured policyholders that are just starting to farm or ranch in such a manner that the provisions do not discriminate against those who grew up on a farm or ranch, left for post-secondary education or military service and returned to the farm or ranch, or those simply beginning to farm.

Please view the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Benefit Fact Sheet, Frequently Asked Questions, or the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Benefits page for additional information.

Biomass Sorghum and Sweet Sorghum Data Gathering Report

A report on the feasibility of developing a crop insurance program for biomass sorghum and sweet sorghum grown expressly for the purpose of producing a feedstock for renewable biofuel is available under Publications.

Conservation Compliance

The 2014 Farm Bill requires producers to file a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form (AD-1026) with their local USDA service center by June 1, 2015, in order to become or remain eligible for crop insurance premium support.

Most farmers already have a certification form on file since it's required for participation in most USDA programs such as marketing assistance loans, farm storage facility loans and disaster assistance. However farmers, such as specialty crop growers who receive federal crop insurance premium support, but may not participate in other USDA programs, also must now file a certification form to maintain their crop insurance premium support.

Please view the Conservation Compliance Fact Sheet, Frequently Asked Questions, or the Conservation Compliance page for additional information.

Coverage Level by Practice and Enterprise Units for Irrigated and Nonirrigated Crop

Margin Protection (MP)

The Margin Protection (MP) plan of insurance is a privately developed product that was submitted to the FCIC Board under Section 508(h) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act. Margin Protection is offered as an area based plan that can be purchased as a stand-alone policy or purchased in conjunction with a Yield Protection or Revenue Protection policy. The plan provides producers with coverage against an unexpected decrease in their operating margin.

Starting in the 2016 crop year, the new Margin Protection (MP) plan will be available in addition to underlying crop insurance policies in select counties starting for corn, rice, soybeans, and spring wheat.

Please view the MP Fact Sheet, Frequently Asked Questions, or the Margin Protection page for additional information.

Native Sod

Native sod guidelines are designed to inform producers about new rules that impact crop insurance benefits when native sod is tilled for annual crops in the upper Midwest. These guidelines apply to all counties in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Please view the Native Sod Guidelines for Federal Crop Insurance and the Agricultural Act of 2014 – Native Sod for additional information.

Peanut Revenue Policy

A Peanut Revenue Policy is newly available for the 2015 crop year and beyond. The Policy is one of several new risk management options authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill that will help farmers manage risks beyond their control. The Georgia Peanut Commission and the Western Peanut Growers developed the policy under section 508(h) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act, which allows private entities to design and submit crop insurance products to the FCIC Board.

Please view the Peanut Revenue Policy Fact Sheet, Frequently Asked Questions, or the Peanut Revenue Policy page for additional information.

Published Rebating Violations and Sanctions

Published violations and sanctions

Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO)

The Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) is a county-level policy endorsement that covers a portion of the deductible of the underlying crop insurance policy. RMA is using yield data reported by insured producers, which allows SCO to be offered in more areas, and allows for more practice-specific insurance coverage to be offered.

SCO will now be available for alfalfa seed, canola, cultivated wild rice, dry peas, forage production, grass seed, mint, oats, onions, potatoes and rye in select counties for the 2016 crop year. It will also be expanded to additional counties for barely and winter wheat. SCO was first made available for the 2015 crop year for barley, corn, soybeans, cotton, cottonseed, rice, sorghum and wheat.

Please view the SCO Fact Sheet, Frequently Asked Questions, or SCO Program page for additional information.

Stacked Income Protection Program (STAX)

The Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) is a new crop insurance product for upland cotton that provides coverage for a portion of the expected revenue for your area. Most often your area will be your county, but it may include other counties or even practices as necessary to obtain a credible amount of data to establish an expected yield and premium rate.

STAX may be purchased on its own, or in conjunction with another policy — including Yield Protection, Revenue Protection, Revenue Protection with the Harvest Price Exclusion, and any of the Area Risk Protection Insurance policies. We refer to this as a “companion policy.” The federal government will pay for 80 percent of the premium cost for STAX.

The Stacked Income Protection Plan is available to upland cotton producers through the federal crop insurance program.

Please view the STAX Fact Sheet, STAX Frequently Asked Questions, or the STAX Plan page for additional information.

Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP)

RMA’s innovative Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) allows producers, who previously had limited access to a risk management safety net, to now insure all of their farm’s commodities at one time. This coverage encourages crop diversity on the farm which directly supports the production of a wider variety of food. As the first crop insurance policy available nation-wide, WFRP is tailored for any farm with up to $8.5 million in insured revenue, including farms with specialty or organic commodities (both crops and livestock), or those marketing to local, regional, farm-identity preserved, specialty, or direct markets.

To make participation easier for more beginning farmers and ranchers, RMA reduced the required records from five to three historical years, plus farming records from the past year. Additionally, any beginning farmer and rancher may qualify by using the former farm operator's federal farm tax records if the beginning farmer or rancher assumes at least 90 percent of the farm operation.

And to address expanding operations, RMA increased the cap on historical revenue to 35 percent from its previous 10 percent to better allow growing farms the opportunity to cover their growth in the insurance guarantee.

Please view the WFRP Fact Sheet, Frequently Asked Questions, or WFRP Program page for additional information.

Contact Information

Find a crop insurance agent to discuss available options for your farm or ranch.

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator.

For more information, contact RMA Public Affairs.