Pa. Farm Bureau secures change in crop insurance rules to manage risk

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CAMP HILL, Pa. – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau has successfully secured a change to crop insurance rules that will make certain coverages more available to farmers in Northeastern states and help them better manage their agricultural risk.
“We have been working diligently with officials of USDA’s Risk Management Agency and U.S. Senator Rick Santorum over the past year to change crop insurance rules to make the program more user-friendly for farmers and to achieve more crop insurance enrollment,” said PFB President Carl Shaffer.
Changes. Specifically, the change in crop insurance rules will make coverage more practical by allowing Pennsylvania producers to use sectional equivalents regardless of distance between insured farmland units.
The previous rule required sectional equivalents to be at least three miles apart.
Insurers can write policies incorporating the rule change made by the Risk Management Agency beginning with the 2007 crop year.
New rule. “The change makes it easier for farmers who experience crop damage on portions of their farmland to be eligible for a claim. Under the old rule, farmers could incur severe damage to crops grown on one part of their farm, but not be eligible to file a claim, because crops located on other parts of their farm exceeded average yields or did not incur losses,” added Shaffer.
Farm Bureau says farmers can better manage their risk, because the change allows them to decide what tracts of land make up a unit to be covered under a specific crop insurance policy.
For some farmers, this option is a better alternative than using a farm serial number.
“It’s not unusual for a farmer to carry numerous crop insurance policies, as Pennsylvania farmers often grow a variety of crops utilizing different types of soils on different terrain,” concluded Shaffer.
More to come. Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is continuing work with the Risk Management Agency on other key issues included hosting a recent tour of Pennsylvania agriculture.
RMA is now considering additional changes to make crop insurance a more viable option for Pennsylvania farmers.

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