The USDA’s changes to crop insurance policies are applicable for producers, specifically to enterprise units and multi-county enterprise units


USDA announces new crop insurance options for producers. (Credit: Hathorn.)

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the introduction of changes to several crop insurance policies improving options for producers.

The changes include the introduction of a new Quality Loss Option, a new unit structure assignment option for Enterprise Units (EU) and new procedures for Multi-County Enterprise Units (MCEU).

Specifically, the new Quality Loss Option was introduced in response to the 2018 Farm Bill that required the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) to research and develop methods of adjusting for quality losses.

The Quality Loss Option allows producers to replace post-quality production amounts

With the new Quality Loss Option, producers can replace post-quality production amounts in their Actual Production History (APH) databases with pre-quality production amounts and thereby increasing their actual yields for individual crop years.

For EUs and MCEUs, a new unit structure assignment option was included. If a producer does not qualify for separate EUs on both practices (EUs for both irrigated and non-irrigated practices or EUs for both Following Another Crop (FAC) and Not Following Another Crop (NFAC) cropping practices, as authorised), the EU can apply to one practice meeting EU requirements and basic/optional units on the other practice.

USDA Risk Management Agency administrator Martin Barbre said: “In addition to making the changes required by the Farm Bill, we are making updates to provide producers more flexibility and options.

“We continually listen to producers and other stakeholders, and we adjust these policies when necessary. With these changes, producers will have more coverage choices.”

The USDA has further described the changes regarding the Quality Loss Option and EUs and has made them available on the Federal Register. Interested parties can comment on the rule for 60 days, with the deadline being 28 August this year.

The final rules could also include additional changes to premium offsets, administrator reinstatement, notice of loss, requirements for double cropping and prevented planting and units.