News Release

USDA Releases Additional Supplemental Coverage Option Availability Maps

2014 Farm Bill Measure Strengthens and Expands Insurance Coverage Options for Farm Operations

WASHINGTON, Aug. 26, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released additional information on the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) availability for Spring 2015 crops. A provision of the 2014 Farm Bill, SCO is a county-level policy endorsement that covers a portion of the deductible of the underlying crop insurance policy.

Administered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), SCO is available for corn, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, spring barley, spring wheat, and winter wheat in select counties for the 2015 crop year. Farmers and ranchers interested in learning how SCO can help them better manage unforeseen risks can now find maps showing where the option is available, commodity fact sheets, frequently asked questions, policy information and more at RMA’s website.

To help producers better understand the SCO and Stacked Income Protection Plan for producers of upland cotton (STAX) programs, RMA is also announcing an online Crop Insurance Decision Tool. This tool, demonstrates how SCO and STAX plans work – how coverage is determined, when it pays, the approximate premium cost, and how it interacts with an underlying crop insurance policy. This user-friendly resource can help producers quickly explore and understand the variety of coverage options that these new products offer. Users will get estimates to help them make purchasing decisions. Producers should consult their crop insurance agent for detailed information and a premium quote specific to their operation.

“Giving our farmers the ability to make informed decisions about how to manage their farm risks is critical to the success of agriculture and rural communities,” said RMA Administrator, Brandon Willis. “USDA will continue to work toward implementing risk management provisions from the Farm Bill as quickly as possible so producers can plan for the future and protect their businesses.”

RMA plans to expand SCO to include additional counties and crops for the 2016 crop year. Producers may contact their crop insurance agents to discuss eligibility in time to sign up for winter wheat and spring crops.

Producers electing to participate in the Farm Service Agency’s Agricultural Risk Coverage for a crop on a farm cannot purchase SCO for the same crop on the farm.
Today’s announcement was made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit USDA Farm Bill.


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