Margin protection insurance designed to protect farmers from increased input costs is being expanded to more than 1,000 additional counties in 2024 due to producer interest, USDA’s Risk Management Agency said Thursday.

Farmers interested in the coverage must buy it by Sept. 30. The insurance will be available June 30.

“This expansion of Margin Protection will provide a viable insurance option for so many more farmers across the country, giving them greater protection possibilities, and helping us continue our commitment of increasing the availability and effectiveness of Federal crop insurance as a risk management tool,” RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger said in a release.

RMA is adding 1,255 counties for soybeans and 1,729 counties for corn. After the expansion, the insurance will be available for soybean acres in 34 states and all of the contiguous United States for corn.

The plan also is available for rice in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas and for wheat in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Some 1.7 million acres of corn and 1 million acres of soybeans were insured under margin protection policies for the 2022 crop year.

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The insurance protects against reduced margins that result from losses in yields, cuts in commodity prices, increases in input costs, or some combination of all three. Margin protection policies can be bought along with yield or revenue protection policies.

The inputs considered in the coverage are diesel, interest, diammonium phosphate, urea and potash for corn, and diesel, interest, diammonium phosphate and potash for soybeans. 

The insurance expansion comes as lawmakers are being pressured to increase reference prices in the Price Loss Coverage program to reflect increased input costs.