Ask FSA Andy about crop insurance

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Hello again, friends,

Weather in Ohio goes from one end of the spectrum to the other. As I have heard numerous times, just wait 15 minutes and it will change. In the past seven months, we have experienced a Polar Vortex, a winter that would never end, a planting season that was quite wet and now, at the end of July, it feels like October weather with cool days and cooler nights. (Be honest, how many of you put on a sweatshirt or a jacket the last few days in July?)

As you can see from the wide variety of weather Ohio experiences in a seven-month period, one may want to consider some type of coverage on their crops that they invest their time and money into planting. If crop insurance is not available for the crops you grow, the Farm Service Agency may be able to provide you with an option.

The Non Insured Assistance Program (NAP) provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory or prevented planting occur due to a natural disaster. Any producer who shares in the risk of producing eligible crops and is entitled to a share of that crop is eligible to purchase NAP coverage.

Eligible crops must be commercially produced agricultural commodity for which the catastrophic risk protection level of crop insurance is not available. The crops must be grown for any of the following:

  • Food (fruits and vegetables)
  • Livestock Consumption (hay)
  • Fiber (cotton or flax)
  • Grown in a Controlled Environment (mushrooms or floriculture)
  • Specialty Crop (Honey or maple sap)
  • Value Loss Crop (aquaculture, Christmas trees, ginseng, ornamental nursery or turf grass sod).

The cost to obtain coverage under the NAP program is $250 per crop per county. Cost is limited to $750 per producer per administrative county with a limit of $1875 for a producer in multiple counties. Limited resource producers may request a waiver of the service fee.

Deadlines for crops vary throughout the year. Producers need to be aware of these deadlines so as not to miss their opportunity to purchase the coverage. Upcoming deadlines include:

August 31 – Coverage for value loss crops such as Aquaculture, Christmas trees, Floriculture, Ginseng, Mushrooms, Ornamental Nursery Turf Grass Sod and Watercress.

September 30 – Winter Wheat (if crop insurance is not available in your area), Rye, Barley and Spelts.

November 20 – Apples, Asparagus, Blueberries, Cane berries, cherries, Chestnut, Forage for Hay and Pasture, Grapes, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Strawberries, Honey and Maple Sap.

New coverage

The new farm bill has expanded the NAP program to include protection at higher coverage levels, similar to buy-up provisions offered under the Federal Crop Insurance program. Producers may elect coverage for each individual crop between 50 and 65 percent, in 5 percent increments, at 100 percent of the average market price. Producers also pay a fixed premium equal to 5.25 percent of the liability.

We have not received any procedure on this but you may want to be prepared and purchase the basic NAP coverage in anticipation of the implementation of the buy-up provisions. If you are considering the NAP program, I would suggest you visit your local Farm Service Agency and discuss your intentions, what crops you want coverage on and get any questions you may have answered. The staff will also advise you of what paperwork is required on your part and what you must do to file a loss.

Until next week — Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest.

That’s all for now,
FSA Andy

About the Author

FSA Andy is written by USDA Farm Service Agency county executive directors in northeastern Ohio. More Stories by FSA Andy

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