WASHINGTON, June 30, 2022 – Specialty crop producers can now benefit from greater flexibility to use their own records to meet crop insurance reporting requirements. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing revisions that will make it easier for specialty crop producers and others who sell through direct marketing channels to obtain insurance, report their annual production, and file a claim.
“Farming and ranching are inherently complex and often challenging occupations, so anything and everything we can do to streamline processes and requirements are essential,” said Marcia Bunger, Administrator of USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). “Crop insurance plays a critical role in a farmer’s operation and how they manage their risk and we’re here to help. Optimizing reporting requirements for direct marketers or vertically integrated operations will help make insurance easier and more accessible for countless producers, including those who grow specialty crops and are an important part of our local and regional food systems.”
· A new marketing certification that allows producers to self-identify if they will not have disinterested third-party records, when required, and enables them to use their own supporting production records. This will benefit direct marketers and vertically integrated producers since they often do not have disinterested third-party records.
· Allowing producers to use their own records, thereby limiting the need for Approved Insurance Providers (AIP) preharvest appraisals as a supporting record.
Before these changes, RMA generally required disinterested third-party records and AIPs may have conducted preharvest appraisals as a supporting production record.
These updates also improve transparency in the producer’s policy by adding production reporting definitions, listing the 30-day appeal deadline for good farming practice determinations, clarifying where a producer can find information in the policy, and updating terminology to be consistent across the policy.
These revisions and other updates come through the Crop Insurance Reporting and Other Changes Final Rule published today by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. This Final Rule will update the Common Crop Insurance Provisions Basic Provisions, Area Risk Protection Insurance Basic Provisions, and includes changes to individual Crop Provisions. Twenty Crop Provisions will be publicly released on June 30, 2022.
Specialty crops and their producers are a priority at RMA. Federal crop insurance coverage for specialty crops has grown steadily over the past 15 years with individual crop insurance programs now available for dozens of specialty crops.
These latest updates and flexibilities build on other RMA efforts to simplify reporting requirements for specialty crop producers and better serve those who sell through direct marketing. RMA implemented changes to Whole-Farm Revenue Protection for the 2021 crop year that streamline revenue reporting for producers who direct market two or more commodities. Additionally, the new Micro Farm option was rolled out beginning with the 2022 crop year specifically for producers who sell locally, including direct marketing. It reduces reporting requirements, providing more access to the program.
Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at rma.usda.gov.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.