RMA Revises Crop Insurance for Walnuts in California
DAVIS, CA, Oct. 28, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is revising its crop insurance program for walnuts for the 2023 and succeeding crop years. In direct response to stakeholder feedback, the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is removing the five-acre minimum acreage requirement of its walnut insurance product, which provides coverage against yield losses for English Walnuts in 27 counties in California. Growers may now insure smaller orchards provided all other requirements are met.
“We always want to make sure that crop insurance is not only a valuable resource, but a practical one too; that is why we made this adjustment after carefully listening to the needs of our producers and insurance providers,” said Jeffrey Yasui, RMA Davis Regional Office Director. “Many walnut producers also grow other tree nut crops, and this change will align the insurability requirements with other tree nut policies. Ultimately, this will make it easier for walnut producers to obtain insurance.”
Having different insurability requirements for crop insurance for similar crops created additional work and confusion for producers and their approved insurance providers (AIP). This revision aims to help alleviate any previous challenges, including the requirement for some to request an annual waiver to insure their walnuts. Much like other tree nut policies, the Walnut Crop Provisions will continue to require that the producer have a share in the orchard, that the trees be adapted to the area, meet a minimum age requirement, and if inspected, are grown in an orchard acceptable to the AIP.
RMA is also making a number of clarifications, corrections, and updates to the Walnut Crop Provisions. More information is available in this October 25, 2022 Federal Register notice.
Walnut producers in California purchased more than 1,500 policies to protect more than $290 million in liabilities in 2021.
The changes to the Walnut Crop Provisions will be available on the USDA’s RMA website by October 31, 2022.
Federal crop insurance is critical to the farm safety net. It helps producers and owners manage revenue risks and strengthens the rural economy. Producers may select from several coverage options, including yield coverage, revenue protection, and area risk policies. Additional information can be found on the Actuarial Information Browser page on the RMA website.
Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available online using the RMA Agent Locator. Producers can use the RMA Cost Estimator to get a premium amount estimate of their insurance needs online. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at www.rma.usda.gov.
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