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USDA Seeks Public Comments on Recommendations for Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Rainfall Index Crop Insurance Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced it is seeking public comments on recommended improvements to the Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) Rainfall Index Crop Insurance Program by November 5, 2020. RMA contracted for an independent evaluation of the PRF program to determine its effectiveness as a risk management tool for livestock producers.

“We want to be sure that the recommendations RMA implements are good for the industry and good for livestock producers,” said RMA Administrator Martin Barbre. “We are always looking for feedback and making adjustments to ensure that our insurance products protect producers and help them manage their risk, including lack of rainfall, and protect the integrity of the program.”

In addition to the PRF program, the recommendations could be applied to other Rainfall Index programs such as Apiculture and Annual Forage, therefore RMA recommends that all interested parties submit comments by November 5, 2020. RMA will review all comments and determine what recommendations should be implemented for the 2022 crop year.

The independent evaluation includes several recommendations, including:

  • Adjusting the County Base Value (CBV) productivity range;
  • Better targeting of indemnities;
  • Focusing PRF on viable forage production areas;
  • Focusing coverage on risk-reducing intervals;
  • Taking an alternative approach to reducing frequent shallow losses; and
  • Modifying the CBV.

Details on the recommendations are published in a report available on the RMA website for public review and comment. Comments can be submitted via email to rma.kcviri@usda.gov or by mail to Director, Product Administration and Standards Division, Risk Management Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 419205, Kansas City, MO 64133-6205.

RMA is authorizing additional flexibilities due to coronavirus while continuing to support producers, working through Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) to deliver services, including processing policies, claims and agreements. RMA staff are working with AIPs and other customers by phone, mail and electronically to continue supporting crop insurance coverage for producers. Farmers with crop insurance questions or needs should continue to contact their insurance agents about conducting business remotely (by telephone or email). More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private insurance agents. A list of insurance agents is available online using the RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at rma.usda.gov.

Source : usda.gov