One Million Organic Acres Insured with Federal Crop Insurance Coverage!
Posted by: Sharon Hestvik, National Organic Coordinator and Ross Heiman, Chief, Prices Branch
On May 5, 2017, the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) published its’ annual 2016 Crop Year Organic Summary of Business Report. For the first time, RMA reports in 2016 there were over 1.065 million organic acres insured – consisting of both certified organic and transitional organic acres. RMA also reports that it covered over $852 million in organic Liability and paid organic farmers over $84.7 million for losses due to natural disasters. The top 5 States insured based on organic Liability are: California, Washington, Texas, North Carolina, and Minnesota and the top 5 organic commodities insured are: corn, apples, wheat, tobacco and soybeans.
Most of the acres insured in 2016 were certified organic (951,416 acres and 7,305 policies); however, RMA also saw an increase in the number of acres insured for farmers transitioning to certified organic (114,298 acres and 1,001 policies). Producers who insure their crop as transitional organic receive the conventional price for their crop, until they are certified organic. However, beginning in 2016, the Contract Price Addendum (CPA) was expanded to allow producers who are transitioning to certified organic and who receive a contract price for their crop to get a crop insurance guarantee that is more reflective of the actual value of their crop. Where available, certified organic and transitional organic producers are now able to use their personal contract price as their price election, or choose existing price elections. The contract price option is available for 66 crops.
RMA recognizes organic farming practices as good farming practices and continues to move forward in improving crop insurance coverage for certified organic and transitional organic producers to make viable and effective risk management options available. In March 2017, RMA issued its’ fourth Report to Congress on Progress of Organic Price Elections. Highlights from this Report show that for the 2017/2018 crop years, RMA is now offering premium organic price elections for 79 crops*, and with the expected upcoming addition of organic prices for pasture, rangeland, and forage, 100 percent of the crops insured by Federal crop insurance for the 2018 crop year have been assessed for organic coverage.
*List of commodities: Organic Premium Price Elections Available by Commodity (2017 and 2018 Crop Year) Note: In some cases, premium organic price elections are only available in certain locations and for certain types.
More information on risk management tools available for organic farmers can be found on the RMA organic crops website. Visit USDA Organic to learn more about USDA's resources for organic agriculture.
- Contact Information
For more information, contact RMA Public Affairs.