Crop Insurance Title
- In terms of the budget, around $5.7 billion was added to this section. While a lot of that can be attributed to the creation of the new STAX program for cotton producers, the rest would be improvements to the insurance program as a whole.
- One of the largest changes is the new Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) which again provides farms the option to purchase county level insurance that would cover part of the deductible under their individual yield and revenue loss crop insurance policy. That coverage level cannot exceed the difference between 86% and the coverage level in the individual policy. Those policies would be subsidized at 65%. A farmer would not be eligible to participate in SCO if they are enrolled in the new Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) revenue program. This program would be available beginning in the 2015 crop year.
- Farmers will be able to select irrigated or non-irrigated crop insurance coverage.
- The higher subsidy levels for enterprise insurance are made permanent under the new bill.
- A farmer can now select to remove a crop year yield where the county planted acre yield was at least 50% below the average county yield over the past 10 consecutive crop year.
- Farmers will now receive reduced crop insurance benefits if a farmer tills native sod for crop production. This proposal was introduced and supported by Sen. Johanns.
- The bill contains a provision to reduce the cost of crop insurance for beginning farmers and ranchers.
- Conservation compliance was tied to crop insurance, however efforts to add payment limits and income limits were not successful.
- The creation of new crop insurance products was also a major focus of this new farm bill. The main focus was to be on new revenue insurance for peanuts, margin insurance for rice and a special irrigation policy for sorghum. Insurance for organic crops is also being examined and an index-based weather insurance pilot program is also being created. Lastly, for livestock producers, RMA is to conduct a study on a catastrophic disease policy for swine and poultry producers and business interruption policy for only poultry producers.
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Click here for a statement by Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson on the 2014 Farm Bill >>