(NewsDakota.com/USDA) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a Request for Information today, announcing public listening sessions and soliciting public comments on possible changes to prevented planting crop insurance coverage. Coinciding with the public comment period, USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) will hold in-person and virtual listening sessions June through August. This includes in-person listening sessions in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas. Meanwhile, RMA will accept written comments through its request for information until September 1.
“We truly care what our customers – the Nation’s agricultural producers – have to say. That’s why we’re hosting listening sessions in 12 states in addition to accepting written comments,” said RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger. “We listen to their needs so that we can adapt, improve, and help them manage their risks and provide better opportunities to protect their operations.”
The request for information on prevented planting requests input on prevented planting topics to include:
Harvest Price Option – Feedback on whether to allow the prevented planting payment calculations to be based on the higher of projected price or harvest price under the revenue protection plan of insurance. “1 in 4” Rule – Input on the challenges or experiences since the rule (to be eligible for a prevented planting coverage acreage must have been planted to a crop, insured, and harvested in at least 1 out of the previous 4 crop years) was implemented nationwide.
10 percent additional coverage option – Input on if RMA should reinstate the option to buy-up prevented planting coverage by 10 percent.
Contract price – Whether prevented planting costs are higher for contracted crops and how prevented planting payments should be calculated for contract crops.
General – Willingness to pay additional premium for expanded prevented planting benefits, recommendations on other prevented planting limitations, etc.
RMA will hold a virtual listening session via Microsoft Teams on June 8 and at least a dozen in-person sessions over the next few months. Additional details on the listening sessions are available on the RMA website.
The request for information, which includes details for submitting feedback, is available in this Federal Register notice.
Prevented planting insurance provisions provide valuable coverage when extreme weather conditions prevent expected plantings. Prevented planting is when a producer is unable to plant an insured crop due to an insurable cause of loss in time to grow a viable crop. Final planting dates and late planting periods are detailed in a producer’s crop insurance policy, and they vary by crop and location. Prevented planting coverage is intended to assist with normal costs associated with preparing the land up to the point of seed going into the ground (pre-plant costs).