Forage seed insurance program becomes permanent

— The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency announced today that the forage (alfalfa) seed insurance policy offered through the federal crop insurance program will be converted to a permanent policy for the 2015 crop year.

The Federal Crop Insurance Corp. Board of Directors approved the conversion and extended the policy’s available coverage through the written agreement process.

Farmers in Grant and Walla Walla counties, as well as in other states, are eligible for the conversion.

“Crop insurance is a proven method to provide producers with a production safety net, and we are excited the pilot was successful and the Alfalfa Seed program was made permanent,” said Dave Paul of the Risk Management Agency's Spokane Regional Office. “One thing we learned during the pilot is the need for insurance for hybrid production. With this program change, coverage will also now be available to those growers contracting for production of hybrid alfalfa seed in the Spokane Region.”

The forage seed insurance policy was introduced in 2002 as a pilot program to provide insurance coverage to alfalfa seed farmers who grew seed for forage crops.

Nationally, the pilot program covered 27,700 acres and $27.9 million in liability in 2013.

For Idaho, Oregon and Washington, 6,963 total acres were insured with $4.8 million in liability. The permanent program will be available for the 2015 crop year in Canyon and Owyhee counties, Idaho; in Malheur County, Oregon; and in Grant and Walla Walla counties, Washington.


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