USDA provides protection for specialty crop growers

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced last week that greater protection is now available from the Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program for crops that traditionally have been ineligible for federal crop insurance.

The new options, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, provide greater coverage for losses when natural disasters affect specialty crops such as vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery and energy crops.

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

An online tool at www.fsa.usda.gov/nap allows producers to determine whether their crops are eligible for coverage.

The Farm Service Agency, which administers the program, also wants to hear from producers and other interested stakeholders who may have suggestions or recommendations on the program. Written comments can be submitted through www.regulations.gov.



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