Farm bill authorizes new crop insurance
The 2014 farm bill authorized the development of a new shallow-loss crop insurance policy to be called the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), but many details about this policy still are unknown.
“One important detail that is known, however, is this insurance coverage is not available for 2014,” North Dakota State University Extension Service Farm Management Specialist Dwight Aakre says.
“There has been some misunderstanding that the SCO policies would be available this year,” he adds. “This may have led to some delay on the part of producers in making their insurance decisions this year. Producers can put SCO out of their mind for 2014.”
Producers will need to make decisions on the various farm program options in 2014, but the Farm Service Agency has not announced enrollment schedules yet. That announcement likely will not be made until late summer or early fall.
Crop insurance, on the other hand, has a final signup date of March 15 for spring-planted crops in this region. Any changes to existing policies and any new policies must be completed by Mar. 15. This date remains unchanged from previous years.
Crop insurance coverage for 2014 should be relatively unchanged from 2013.
“If you were satisfied with the type of policies and coverage levels you elected last year, you may choose to continue those policies as is,” Aakre says. “It is important to note that revenue coverage guarantees this year will be considerably lower than last year due to lower preliminary prices realized during the month of February.”
Lower coverage also comes with lower premiums. For about the same premium as last year, producers should be able to purchase coverage at one level higher than in 2013.
The various crop insurance policies will have some minor changes this year, as is the case every year. A producer’s insurance provider is the best source of information on individual policies and coverage options. — WLJ