USDA expands crop insurance options for SCO, APH yield exclusion

By Sarah Gonzalez

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, June 12, 2015--USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced more options for farmers who elected the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) or Actual Production History (APH) Yield Exclusion in their crop insurance plans.

 

In an effort to provide relief to farmers affected by severe weather, including drought and excess moisture, the agency is making the programs available for more crops. Both SCO and APH Yield Exclusion were implemented through the 2014 Farm Bill.

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“RMA worked hard to make these programs available for the 2015 crop year and we continue to expand these options for our farmers and ranchers for 2016,” said RMA Associate Administrator Michael Alston. “Providing APH Yield Exclusion for winter wheat in this expansion was a top priority.”

 

The APH Yield Exclusion allows farmers with qualifying crops in eligible counties to exclude low yields in exceptionally bad years (such as a year in which a natural disaster or other extreme weather occurs) from their production history when calculating yields used to establish their crop insurance coverage.

RMA announced that alfalfa seed, cultivated wild rice, dry peas, forage production, oats, onions, rye and winter wheat are eligible in certain counties for APHY Yield Exclusion in the 2016 crop year. These are in addition to barley, canola, corn, cotton, grain sorghum, peanuts, popcorn, rice, soybeans, sunflowers and spring wheat, which were offered beginning in the 2015 crop year.

 

SCO, a county-level policy endorsement that covers a portion of the deductible of the underlying crop insurance policy, will now be available for alfalfa seed, canola, cultivated wild rice, dry peas, forage production, grass seed, mint, oats, onions, potatoes and rye in select counties for the 2016 crop year. It will also be expanded to additional counties for barley and winter wheat. SCO was first made available for the 2015 crop year for barley, corn, soybeans, cotton, cottonseed, rice, sorghum and wheat.

 

SCO works in conjunction with a producer's individual crop insurance policy and is purchased through a crop insurance agent. SCO is only available to producers who chose Price Loss Coverage as their commodity title program, rather than the Agricultural Risk Coverage revenue program.

 

Alston said RMA is able to use more crop insurance data, thanks to a farm bill provision that allowed the agency to use crop insurers' data as well as National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) data to expand the options for producers.

The agency also announced that producers now have access to new online tools designed to help them determine the options that work best for their operations.

 

The Crop Insurance Decision Tool and the SCO/APH Yield Exclusion mapping tool, available on RMA's website, provide farmers with information on APH Yield Exclusion and SCO eligible crops, crop years, and counties where they may elect the programs.

 

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