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Sugar Beet Crop Insurance Early Harvest Adjustments Made Optional by USDA

The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) released a final rule that makes insurance adjustment for early harvest of sugar beets optional. This rule went into effect on November 30, 2023. The FCIC is a government owned corporation, managed by the Risk Management Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and handles the federal crop insurance program in the United States.

Federal crop insurance in the United States is based on Actual Production History (APH). Sugar beet producers often harvest a small portion of their crops early, allowing the sugar processing plants to begin operating sooner. Because these early harvested beets are not fully mature, they are smaller and have less sugar content, dragging the APH down for that area. Sugar beet farmers made the FCIC aware of this issue, and the FCIC added early harvest adjustments in November of 2019. This rule had a formula to estimate what the full potential yield was for the early harvested beets and adjusted the APH accordingly.

After the final rule was published in 2019, the American Sugarbeet Growers Association (ASGA) raised concern that if some beets were harvested early, and the yield was adjusted upwards, but a disaster followed before the full harvest, the adjusted yield could potentially prevent a claim.

The FCIC responded to these concerns, and this new rule now makes the upward insurance adjustments for early sugar beet harvest optional. However, farmers must still decide whether to opt into this option by the sales closing date. The sales closing date for the 2024 crop year is March 15, 2024. We urge farmers to consider whether they wish to take part in this adjustment option before meeting with an insurance agent for growing year 2024.

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