USDA Finalizes Crop Insurance Provisions of 2014 Farm Bill
Producers Have Access to Stronger Farm Safety Net
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced that the final safety net provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill, which provide farmers and ranchers better protection from weather disasters, market volatility and other risk factors, are now in place. With this announcement, RMA has finalized an interim rule that completes provisions such as enterprise units for irrigated and non-irrigated crops, adjustment in actual production history to establish insurable yields, crop production on native sod, beginning farmer and rancher provisions, coverage levels by practice, and the authority to correct errors.
"The Farm Bill directed us to make some changes that would strengthen the safety net we provide for America’s farmers and ranchers," RMA Administrator Brandon Willis said. "These safety net options will help ensure that America’s hard working farmers and ranchers, and their families are able to better manage risks so that they can continue to farm even after years of severe weather."
RMA began implementing the provisions under an interim rule for the 2015 crop year. Today’s action enables RMA to continue to offer and expand on the Farm Bill provisions for the federal crop insurance program.
USDA received more than 350 public comments on the interim rule published July 1, 2014. Based on that feedback, RMA made changes to one part of the rule – the native sod provisions. The final rule clarifies an exception that allows producers to break up to five acres of native sod and not receive reduced premium subsidy on coverage of native sod acreage. All other provisions of the final rule remain unchanged. A copy of the final rule goes on display today at the Federal Register and will be published tomorrow, June 30 at Federal Register.
Under the Obama Administration, federal crop insurance programs have been enhanced to ensure that America's farmers and ranchers have the strongest safety net possible that applies to the diverse types and sizes of farms in our country, and the wide variety of products they grow. USDA federal crop insurance programs provide producers with greater access to financial tools than ever before, at a time when prices are low, and access to credit can be difficult. Working with producers, RMA has developed innovative and well-received products to adapt the program to today's diverse farm operations. Special focus has been given to more diversified farms, small farms and beginning farmers and ranchers. Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. Contact a local crop insurance agent for more information about these changes. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Center.
Since 2009, USDA has worked to strengthen and support American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries, and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials. USDA has also provided $5.6 billion in disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; expanded risk management tools with products like Whole Farm Revenue Protection; and helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit. The Department has engaged its resources to support a strong next generation of farmers and ranchers by improving access to land and capital; building new markets and market opportunities; and extending new conservation opportunities. USDA has developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,500 biobased products through USDA's BioPreferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/results.
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