Insurance Improvements for Citrus From USDA

Ernie Neffcrop insurance

Photo courtesy of USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) recently announced improved and expanded insurance options for citrus growers and others.

Next year, Florida producers will be able to insure several citrus commodities under an Actual Production History Plan that offers advantages over the existing Florida Citrus Fruit Dollar Plan.

This product provides individualized coverage based on historical yield instead of a state’s average value. It also provides more comprehensive coverage for citrus fruit during the bloom phase until fruit forms on the tree, a simpler loss adjustment process and faster settlement of claims.

For young citrus trees, the biggest threats are freeze, fire and lack of irrigation because of drought, RMA stated.

A new insurance option available in 2021 – California Citrus Trees – helps California citrus producers manage these risks, especially as they deal with some unusual weather patterns over the past decade. The policy covers orange, grapefruit, mandarin/tangerine, lemon and tangelo trees. To date, 196 policies were purchased, covering more than $50 million in liabilities.  

The agency said it has made some major changes to Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP), the policy that is available for all crops in all counties and is tailored for any farm with up to $8.5 million in insured revenue. The changes are especially good for specialty crop producers, specifically direct market producers who can now report two or more commodities using a new combined direct marketing code.

Also for WFRP, RMA made changes for organic producers, allowing them to report acreage as certified organic, or as acreage in transition to organic, when the producer has requested an organic certification by the acreage reporting date. This allows organic producers more flexibility when reporting certified acreage.

RMA has specialty crop liaisons available to assist specialty crop producers, whether they’re new to crop insurance or have feedback on how RMA can make crop insurance better meet the needs of specialty crop producers.

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.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency

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