July 27, 2023
USDA is expanding its insurance coverage options for specialty crops and other actual production history crop programs.
Through its Risk Management Agency (RMA), USDA said it will expand the availability of enterprise units to crops where they were previously unavailable, giving agricultural producers greater options to manage their risk.
An enterprise unit allows a producer to insure all acres of the insured crop in the county together, as opposed to other unit structures that separate the acreage for insurance.
Enterprise units are attractive to producers because of lower premium rates offered to recognize the lower risk associated with the geographic diversification. In general, the larger the enterprise unit, the lesser the risk, and the greater the enterprise unit discount.
“The expanded coverage options will provide increased affordability for forage production in Michigan and could encourage more producers to participate and utilize more enhanced coverage moving forward,” says Matt Thelen, Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan crop insurance specialist, who noted that potato and onion growers will also benefit from the expansion.
USDA said the move furthers RMA’s efforts to improve and expand the insurance program for specialty crops as required by the 2018 Farm Bill. USDA also noted that this expansion also meets producer requests for enterprise units for other actual production history crop insurance programs.
“Any expansion of coverage from a basic unit to an enterprise is a great benefit to the producer,” said Ryan Fox, Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan crop insurance specialist. “Hopefully, they keep expanding it to other specialty crops.”
RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger says the initial set of targeted crops can enjoy this new option. RMA plans to expand to dozens more specialty and other APH crop programs with these benefits in the coming months.
Crops that will have enterprise units available beginning with the 2024 crop year include:
mint (specialty crop)
onions (specialty crop)
potatoes (specialty crop)
“We want to make sure we are giving the nation’s agricultural producers the strongest risk management tools possible — and one of those is flexibility,” Bunger added.
“This expansion of enterprise units gives producers more choices for how they can protect their operations and themselves best. That is our ultimate goal.”
Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at rma.usda.gov, or by contacting a crop insurance specialist.
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