WASHINGTON, D.C. — Acting Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse has announced that the federal crop insurance program will provide additional flexibility to farmers. The modifications center on the practice of growing two crops on the same field at different times of the year, which is known as double cropping.
“We are constantly looking for ways to meet the needs of our farmers and seek out their feedback so we can best provide them with the tools and resources they need to grow and support their operations,” Scuse said. “After receiving input from a number of stakeholders, we made these changes to the federal crop insurance program to provide greater flexibility and better reflect current agricultural practices.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) worked to provide additional flexibility requested by farmers. Double cropping requirements are revised to adequately recognize changes in growing farm operations or for added land. This change will address both land added to an operation, and account for multiple crop rotations. These changes will be in effective for the 2017 crop year for most crops, starting with winter wheat.
Under the Obama Administration, federal crop insurance programs have been enhanced to ensure that America’s farmers and ranchers have the strongest safety net possible that applies to the diverse types and sizes of farms in our country, and the wide variety of products they grow. USDA federal crop insurance programs provide producers with greater access to financial tools than ever before, at a time when prices are low, and access to credit can be difficult. Working with producers, RMA has developed innovative and well-received products to adapt the program to today’s diverse farm operations. Special focus has been given to more diversified farms, small farms and beginning farmers and ranchers. Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. Contact a local crop insurance agent for more information about these changes. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers or online at www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agent.html.
Since 2009, USDA has worked to strengthen and support American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries, and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials. USDA has also provided $5.6 billion in disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; expanded risk management tools with products like Whole Farm Revenue Protection; and helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit. The Department has engaged its resources to support a strong next generation of farmers and ranchers by improving access to land and capital; building new markets and market opportunities; and extending new conservation opportunities. USDA has developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,500 biobased products through USDA’s BioPreferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/results.