USDA Expands Insurance Options for Farmers Transitioning to Certified Organic Agriculture

A news release yesterday from USDA stated that, “Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new step to support farmers transitioning to certified organic production, by expanding a crop insurance option to allow producers to purchase insurance coverage that better reflects their product’s actual value. The expanded coverage is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) continued commitment to provide farmers with resources and tools to meet the growing demand for certified organic products. The Secretary made the announcement at the White House during remarks to participants at the USDA Market Summit.”

The release added that, “Producers transitioning to certified organic production can now use the Contract Price Addendum to cover their crops at a higher price than traditional crops. The Contract Price Addendum allows farmers transitioning to organic production to insure certain crops at their contract price rather than the published U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) price election.

“RMA has also expanded organic premium price elections to 57 crops, up from four in 2011, providing organic producers the option to protect their 2016 crops closer to the market value. Barley, rice and wheat are among the crops for which organic price elections have been added. New additions for 2017 will include grapefruit, lemons and oranges.”

The USDA also explained that, “Producers can find sales closing dates for the crops in their states by referring to RMA’s regional office state directory. Current policyholders also have until the sales closing date to make any changes to their existing contracts.

“A list of commodities eligible for the Contract Price addendum is available online at www.rma.usda.gov/news/currentissues/organics/cpa_eligibility.html.”

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