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Additional Disaster Coverage Available For Specialty Crop Growers

Fruit, vegetable and other specialty crop growers now have additional disaster coverage options under the new farm bill. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced changes to the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) to provide greater coverage for specialty crop losses.

"For years, commodity crop farmers have had the ability to purchase insurance to keep their crops protected, and it only makes sense that fruit, vegetable and other specialty crop growers should be able to purchase similar levels of protection,” Vilsack said.

Previously, the program offered coverage at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production. Farmers can now choose higher levels of coverage, up to 65 percent of their expected production at 100 percent of the average market price.

Speciality crops covered in the new program include vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, and energy crops.

Application deadlines vary by commodity. If the application deadline for an eligible crop has passed, producers will have until Jan. 14 to choose expanded coverage through NAP.

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