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John Shea, 202-690-0437

WASHINGTON, Jan 8, 2009 - USDA’s Federal Crop Insurance Corporation’s Board of Directors, at its Jan 7, 2008, meeting, approved new procedures for submitting a concept proposal for insurance plans to the Board under section 508(h).

The 2008 Farm Bill amended section 522(b) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act, requiring the FCIC Board to establish procedures for approving advance payment of reasonable research and develop costs to applicants submitting concept proposals.

Under the new procedures, concept proposals may now be submitted within the first five business days of January, April, July, and October, and an advance payment of up to 50 percent of the expected research and development expenses may be made.

When a concept proposal is approved, submitters will subsequently develop the proposal into an insurance product under section 508(h) of the Act and 7 C.F.R. part 400, Subpart V.

The first submission window for concept proposals is the first five business days of April 2009.