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Reccent USDA Final Rule changes prevented planting provisions in crop insurance

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

December 7, 2016

The Common Crop Insurance Regulations Final Rule (dated November 23, 2016) changes the language in the Code of Federal Regulations related to common crop insurance regulations (7 CFR 457) for "prevented planting" insurance coverage.  Although the rule affects several crops, onions are the major crop with changes in this rule in the ENYCH region.  There were also changes to processing sweet corn and processing beans and to other field crops.
Old Language (7 CFR 457.135)
15. Prevented Planting
Your prevented planting coverage will be 35 percent (35%) of your final stage production guarantee for timely planted acreage. Additional prevented planting coverage levels are not available for onions.
New Language (7 CFR 457.135)
15. Prevented PlantingYour prevented planting coverage will be a percentage specified in the actuarial documents of your final stage production guarantee for timely planted acreage. Additional prevented planting coverage levels are not available for onions.
History and Background-
The original coverage levels for prevented planting were set in the late 1990s/early 2000s, based on USDA-ERS research.  The Office of Inspector General for Audit (OIG) conducted an audit on the Federal crop insurance prevented planting program for 2011- 2012 and recommended RMA obtain updated pre-planting cost information, and reevaluate the current prevented planting coverage levels making adjustments consistent with the pre- planting costs for each crop.
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation hired a contractor to review the prevented planting policy and determine appropriate pre-planting costs to be covered, evaluate the reasonableness of current prevented planting payments by crop and region, examine alternative methods and approaches to the program, provide alternative payment amounts as appropriate, and develop a plan for routinely updating those amounts. For some crops or crops in certain regions, the contractor suggested FCIC raise or lower the current prevented planting coverage levels.
This rule allows for any new percentages of prevented planting coverage that FCIC determines provides adequate protection for those costs incurred even though the crop was prevented from planting to be specified in the actuarial documents and removes them from the Crop Provisions in the regulations. The rule also leaves the option for additional prevented planting coverage if offered in the actuarial documents. This will allow FCIC to expedite its update of the percentages in response to changing production conditions.
What this means and what you can do -
For insurance coverage to adequately and fairly cover costs of production in an area, accurate data on real production costs will be needed.  The industry will need growers to participate in data collection efforts to document real costs - especially for growers in areas where the costs are higher than national or state averages.
You have the opportunity to comment on this rule until January 23, 2017.  FCIC may consider the comments received and may conduct additional rulemaking based on the comments. Interested persons may submit comments, identified by Docket ID No. FCIC-16-0003
Electronically: FCIC prefers interested persons submit their comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov.
By Mail: Director, Product Administration and Standards Division, Risk Management Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 419205, Kansas City, MO 64133-6205.

Federal Register Final Rule (pdf; 236KB)

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Upcoming Events

2020 Fall Round Up: Fall Management for Your Livestock, Pasture, and Business

October 29, 2020

Join Cornell Cooperative Extension Educators Ashley Pierce, Aaron Gabriel, and Dayton Maxwell.  This dynamic and slightly humorous group will discuss strategies for overwintering pastures in combination with management guidelines for helping livestock enter the winter season with adequate body condition.  Farm visioning, mission development, and farm goal setting will conclude the one-hour program. 

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2021 Fruit & Vegetable Conference

February 16 - February 18, 2021

The Eastern NY Fruit & Vegetable Conference, normally held at The Desmond Hotel in Albany, will be going virtual 2021.  The ENYCH team will try to coordinate with other regional fruit and vegetable teams from across the state to offer a larger statewide virtual meeting.  These are tentative dates for now.  Additional information will be continued to be shared as it becomes available. 

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Announcements

U-Pick Farm Practices During Covid-19 Pandemic

U-Pick is a critical direct marketing approach for many of our farms and provides
customers with a unique connection to fresh produce grown close to home. In light
of what we understand about the spread of COVID-19, new management practices
will be needed to protect your farm team and your customers. This document
provides recommended practices and communication strategies for U-Pick
operations for the 2020 season.

https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_864.pdf

Resources from CCE ENYCHP!

We are developing new ways to connect with the CCE ENYCHP team this year! We have a Youtube page located at this link. Check out videos on Table Grape Production, Pest Updates and the 20 Minute Ag Manager - in 4 Minutes series

We have a Facebook Page here as well as an Instagram page. We keep these places updated with current projects, events, and other interesting articles and deadlines.

There are also text alerts available. Fruit and vegetable farmers in 17 Eastern NY counties can now receive real time alerts on high risk disease and pest outbreaks texted directly to their cell phone. The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program, which is supported by local Cornell Cooperative Extension associations, will now offer text alerts to those that enroll in our program in 2019. 

The text alerts will be reserved for important crop alerts that could impact management decisions immediately. For instance, if there were an outbreak of Late Blight in the area, this would be transmitted to vegetable growers.

Farmers can choose the crop for which they wish to receive updates. Additionally they can request that Ag Business Alerts be sent to them. These alerts might include due dates for crop insurance deadlines, market opportunities etc.

If you have questions, please contact enychp@cornell.edu


Podcasts

2020 Biweekly Vegetable News Podcast - Episode 12 9/30/20

September 30, 2020
The September 30, 2020 edition of the Eastern New York Vegetable News covers the following topics:

Farmers Benefits from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 or CFAP (1:10)
Reflections on the Challenges and Successes Faced by Vegetable Growers in 2020 (4:40)

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