Subject: Request dated March 2, 2011, requesting a Final Agency Determination for the 2009 crop year regarding the interpretation of section 17(a)(1) of the Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions (Basic Provisions), published at 7 C.F.R. 457.8. This request is pursuant to 7 C.F.R. part 400, subpart X.
Section 17 of the Basic Provisions states, as here pertinent:
17. Prevented Planting.
(a) Unless limited by the policy provisions, a prevented planting payment may be made to you for eligible acreage if:
(1) You were prevented from planting the insured crop (Failure to plant when other producers in the area were planting will result in the denial of the prevented planting claim) by an insured cause that occurs:
The requestor understands the parenthetical in section 17(a)(1) of the Basic Provisions to mean that in the event a policyholder fails to plant acreage insured as eligible acreage for prevented planting coverage under their MPCI policy when other individuals in near geographic proximity were able to do so and were not delayed by a covered peril, that any claim for prevented planting tendered to an approved insurance provider must be denied as stated in section 17(a)(1).
Final Agency Determination
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) agrees in part with the requestor's interpretation. Area is not limited to the "near geographic proximity."
Section 1 of the Basic Provisions defines "area" as "Land surrounding the insured acreage with geographic characteristics, topography, soil types and climatic conditions similar to the insured acreage." Therefore, a prevented planting claim will be denied in the event a policyholder fails to plant when other producers with land surrounding the insured acreage with geographic characteristics, topography, soil types, climatic conditions and exposure similar to the insured acreage were able to plant. Further, a policyholder must have been prevented from planting because of an insured cause of loss general to the surrounding area which also prevents other producers from planting acreage with similar characteristics. Therefore, all of these conditions must be examined so eligibility for a prevented planting payment must be determined on a case-by-case basis.
In accordance with 7 C.F.R. 400.765 (c), this Final Agency Determination is binding on all participants in the Federal crop insurance program for the 2009 and succeeding crop years this provision is in effect. Any appeal of this decision must be in accordance with 7 C.F.R. 400.768(g).
Date of Issue: May 10, 2011