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USDA Expands Margin Protection for Corn and Soybean Farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expanding its Margin Protection insurance plan, adding more than a thousand counties to the insurance option that provides coverage against an unexpected decrease in operating margin for corn and soybean producers. This expansion, which is in direct response to growing interest among producers, will be available by June 30, 2023. Interested producers will need to purchase their coverage by Sept. 30, 2023, to be eligible for the 2024 crop year. 

“Increasing the availability of a program is sometimes the best way we can improve upon an effective program and serve our farmers with more risk management resources,” said Marcia Bunger, Administrator for the Risk Management Agency (RMA). “This expansion of Margin Protection will provide a viable insurance option for so many more farmers across the country, giving them greater protection possibilities, and helping us continue our commitment of increasing the availability and effectiveness of Federal crop insurance as a risk management tool.” 

Margin Protection, first implemented for the 2016 crop year, protects against decreases in margin caused by reduced county yields, reduced commodity prices, increased price of certain inputs or any combination of these issues. It is area-based, using county-level estimates of average revenue and input costs to establish the amount of coverage and indemnity payments. 

RMA’s expansion of the Margin Protection plan will add 1,255 counties for soybeans and 1,729 counties for corn. This will add coverage in 22 states for soybeans with 34 states being covered in total. It will also make Margin Protection available for corn in the contiguous United States (see maps). The plan is available in select counties for rice (Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas), and wheat (Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota). 

In the 2022 crop year, there were 1.7 million acres of corn and 1 million acres of soybeans insured under the Margin Protection insurance plan. 

Margin Protection can be purchased by itself, or in conjunction with a Yield Protection or Revenue Protection policy purchased from the same Approved Insurance Provider that issued the Margin Protection policy. Margin Protection cannot be purchased with the Supplemental Coverage Option or the Enhanced Coverage Option. 

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