The Risk Management Agency (RMA) has been looking at ways to improve the Apple Crop Provisions. A recent press release explains the proposed changes to the apple crop insurance policy and asks for producers and the public to submit comments before February 14th, 2022. The changes are expected to go into effect for the 2023 crop year.
Table of Contents
- How RMA Evaluates Apple Insurance Policy
- Proposed Changes To Apple Crop Insurance Policy
- Make Your Voice Heard
- Talk To An Agent About Apple Policy
We’ll break down who the RMA is, how they evaluate the apple policy, what the proposed changes are and how they may affect you, and how you can make sure your voice is heard on this issue.
How RMA Evaluates Apple Insurance Policy
Apple Crop Insurance Policy insures over 220,000 acres providing close to $1.5 billion in protection to apple producers. If you fit into this category, you know full well how many factors can impact the quality and quantity of your apple crop. Whether it’s hail, frost, wind, drought, or even disease and other types of damage, Apple producers rely on the crop insurance program to ensure their hard work and investment doesn’t go to waste.
Over the last 20 years, producers have been working with the RMA to make improvements to the policy as the industry has grown and changed. Some examples include the Varietal Group coverage and the ability to use it to establish unit structure to provide growers to better tailor their coverage based on their orchard’s unique needs.
Proposed Changes To Apple Crop Insurance Policy
Since 2017, the RMA has been evaluating the policy in conjunction with apple producers and industry representatives to ensure the success and sustainability of the Apple Crop Insurance Policy. Offering listening sessions for apple producers and industry representatives, the Risk Management Agency has been seeking feedback on the current policy as well as recommendations for improvement, and has announced changes that will:
- Enable producers to elect different coverage levels and percent of price elections by type, which allows producers to manage individual coverage and price risk more effectively.
- Allow producers’ premiums to be reduced in response to orchard management practices, such as removing or grafting trees, that typically occur after the acreage reporting date and decrease an orchard’s productivity.
- Allow producers to insure at a higher price for apples sold predominantly to direct markets or premium processing markets.
- Exclude apples sold for the slicer market from being considered “fresh apple production.”
- Introduce a fresh fruit factor to account for the reduced market value of production insured under the Quality Option sold for a grade other than U.S. Fancy.
As part of the USDA, the RMA is required by law to operate the program in ways that “improve the actuarial soundness of the federal multi peril crop insurance coverage.” Statute requires USDA to operate the program “to achieve an overall projected loss ratio of not greater than 1.0.”
Make Your Voice Heard
The RMA is soliciting comments from growers and the public on these proposed changes. Comments must be submitted by Feb. 14, 2022.
“It is vital that we hear from the producers and public about possible updates to our policies and products,” said Marcia Bunger, RMA administrator. “Information from apple producers will help us create a more effective and beneficial service to America’s agricultural community.”
Help others understand your perspective and how these proposals will impact your farm or business by participating in this discussion. This will help RMA balance the needs of all impacted apple crop insurance participants.
Interested parties can submit comments via the Federal Register or by mail using the sample format below:
Talk To An Agent About Apple Policy
Producers can purchase crop insurance exclusively through private crop insurance agents like Scott Colville. Specializing in apple insurance products, Scott has a thorough understanding of the way these policies work. If you have questions or want to talk through these changes and how they may affect you, feel free to contact Scott.