WASHINGTON, August 19, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced it will make several improvements to Federal crop insurance prevented planting coverage. RMA will implement these changes for most spring crops with prevented planting coverage, starting in the 2021 crop year, and for all crops with prevented planting coverage, starting in the 2022 crop year.
“After unprecedented prevented planting in 2019, I thought it was incredibly important to examine how prevented planting policy can be improved,” said RMA Administrator Martin Barbre. “Over the past few months, RMA has engaged producer groups, insurance agents, and Approved Insurance Providers in discussion through a prevented planting taskforce with the goal to improve prevented planting for producers when they really need it, but not to incentivize it.”
The changes include:
- Expansion of the “1 in 4” requirement nationwide. Currently, only producers in the Prairie Pothole National Priority Area are subject to the requirement, which requires producers to plant acreage in at least one of the four most recent crop years to be eligible for prevented planting coverage on those acres.
- Several modifications to existing policy and procedure to ensure that producers’ prevented planting payments adequately reflect the crops the producer intended to plant. Specific information on the changes can be found here.
- Allow acreage planted with an uninsured second crop following the failure of a first crop within the same crop year to, nonetheless, be included as prevented planting eligible acreage.
- Provide an exception allowing prevented planting of a different crop than the producer attempted to plant when a producer does not have a history of producing two crops in the same field if the producer can prove intention.
- Allow the use of an intended acreage report for the first two years, instead of only the first year, for producers in a new county, where they have never produced the crop.
RMA is authorizing additional flexibilities due to coronavirus while continuing to support producers, working through AIPs to deliver services, including processing policies, claims and agreements. RMA staff are working with AIPs and other customers by phone, mail and electronically to continue supporting crop insurance coverage for producers. Farmers with crop insurance questions or needs should continue to contact their insurance agents about conducting business remotely (by telephone or email). More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private insurance agents. A list of insurance agents is available online using the RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at rma.usda.gov.