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John Shea, 202-690-0437


WASHINGTON, DC, May 26, 2011 - USDA's Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board of Directors (FCIC Board) approved expansion of the Apiculture (API) pilot program to Arkansas, Maryland, and Wisconsin under the Rainfall Index (RI), and to Nevada under the Vegetation Index (VI), beginning with the 2012 crop year.

For other coverage areas under both the RI and VI plans, please see the rainfall and vegetation indices page.

This pilot program is based on vegetation and rainfall indices, designed to give apiculture producers the ability to insure for losses of flowering vegetation intended for use by bees in the production of honey. The use of technology allows the Federal crop insurance program to offer an insurance product useful to apiaries who rely on robust vegetative growth for their production.

API is an area risk policy, using RI and VI to determine losses and, therefore, claims payments. The Rainfall Index uses National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center (NOAA CPC) data. Claims payments are based on the data from NOAA CPC showing the deviation from normal precipitation interpolated (smoothed) to an area for a specific time period selected by each individual producer. It is important to understand that payments are not based on individual rain gauges on the producer's specific location or a single weather station.

The Vegetation Index uses the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data from the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science. The NDVI is a measure of photosynthesis (vegetation greenness) and correlates to vegetation conditions and productive capacity. Plants that are not stressed generally have a higher NDVI value. Losses calculated using the Vegetation Index are also paid based on the deviation from normal.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 800-795-3272 (voice), or 202-720-6382 (TDD).