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Rancher risk management tool offered, sign-up deadline Nov. 15

PRF insurance can protect Texas landowers' perennial forage for livestock, help manage risk.

Pasture, Rangeland and Forage, or PRF, insurance can be a way to protect Texas landowners’ perennial forage for livestock and manage the risks of a constantly changing weather environment, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

DeDe Jones, AgriLife Extension risk management specialist in Amarillo, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency offers the PRF program and policies covering the 2019 calendar year through crop insurance agents until Nov. 15. Premiums are billed on Sept. 1, 2019.

“Conventional crop insurance doesn’t offer much for ranchers, but they need to focus as much on risk management as farmers do,” Jones said.

With the pasture insurance, producers are not required to insure all their acres for the entire 12-month period, she said. They can choose the acres and months most important to their grazing and/or haying operations.

Payment is not determined by individual damages, but rather area losses based on a grid system, she explained. Producers can select any portion of acres to insure, but they must select between 11 of the two-month intervals outlined, choosing at least two and not more than six.

Coverage levels between 70 and 90 percent are available, Jones said. Once coverage is selected, the producer also chooses a productivity factor between 60 and 150 percent. The productivity factor is a percentage of the established county base value for forage.

The base value is a standard rate published by the Risk Management Agency for each county. It is calculated based on estimated stocking rates and current hay prices.

Jones said the program uses a rainfall index to determine potential indemnity payments.

Additionally, she said alfalfa and other irrigated hay can be insured under a PRF policy at different coverage levels and higher base values.

A decision-support tool to help producers determine coverage levels and intervals can be found at: http://bit.ly/2yAKAeb.

For more information about the insurance and how it fits into a risk management plan, contact Jones at 806-677-5600 or dljones@ag.tamu.edu

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