Pasture, Range and Forage Insurance deadline Nov. 15

Oct 18, 2013
by WLJ

The deadline is nearing for Pasture, Range and Forage Insurance, designed to provide livestock and hay producers protection against acreage losses, said DeDe Jones, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service risk management specialist in Amarillo.

The 2014 sign-up and acreage reporting deadline for this program is Nov. 15, and notices of premiums due will be sent by July 1, Jones said.

“Insurance is a critical component in producers’ risk management portfolios during periods of drought or uncertainty,” she said. “This policy benefited many cattle producers around the Panhandle in 2011 and 2012 due to the low rainfall conditions.”

Payment is not determined by individual damages, but rather area losses based on a grid system, Jones explained. Producers can select any portion of acres to insure, but they must also choose a minimum of two two-month intervals or a maximum of six two-month intervals per year to insure.

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

University of Nebraska- Lincoln Extension educator Monte Vandeveer said producers can insure their land for either grazing or for haying. For land that is insured for haying, forage production must come from perennial forages such as grass or alfalfa. Annual forages are not eligible under this program.

Rainfall indexes are used to determine the insurance coverage. The rainfall index uses National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Climate Prediction Center data and a 12-by-12-mile grid system. The index reflects how much precipitation is received relative to the long-term average for the specified grid area during a given two-month time frame.

Using the online support tools, producers can identify the grid area for their land. Rainfall index data are available going back to 1948 for each grid area, and producers can evaluate how different coverage options would have performed in any particular year for each grid.

It is important to remember that because the rainfall index is calculated using precipitation data from NOAA weather stations, the rainfall index for a producer’s grid area may not exactly reflect a producer’s own rainfall experience. As a result, the rainfall index may not precisely reflect changes in forage production. Over the long term these differences should even out, but there may be discrepancies in any particular year.

A decision-support tool to help producers determine coverage levels and intervals can be found at: http://agfor — WLJ