Sec. Vilsack: APH fix will be ready for selected crops in 2015
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2014 - Grower groups and members of Congress commended Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday, after he announced that the Actual Production History (APH) Yield Exclusion will be available for selected crops starting in the spring of 2015. Program details will be announced in December 2014.
The APH Yield Exclusion allows farmers to exclude yields in exceptionally bad years from their production history when calculating yields used to establish their crop insurance coverage. The level of insurance coverage available is based on the farmer's average recent yields.
Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator Brandon Willis said the 2015 rollout for selected crops was made possible, in part, because of work his agency did with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and land grant universities to collect county production data for the rollout of two key farm programs under the Farm Service Agency - Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage - and for the educational tools.
“For the past few months, we've been compiling that information for their program and we discovered that was very useful for APH exclusion because we needed to look at all that type of county data to determine which counties are eligible and which crops are eligible,” he explained.
In addition, he said the “IT side of development” is ahead of schedule, as well as work on the new “whole farm” product, which freed up resources. The RMA also brought a few new people on board to handle the workload and as a result, Willis said “we are just at a different place than we were fundamentally earlier this year,” when it looked like implementation of the “APH fix” would be delayed even longer.
Vilsack pointed out that the change could be extremely helpful to growers who have been hard hit by drought. However, there will be no change in the APH yield exclusion for winter wheat this year, much to the dismay of several growers in Texas and Oklahoma who are still considering legal action against USDA.
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