Annual Forage Insurance Plan coverage is available in Nebraska from the USDA – Risk Management Agency (RMA) for annual forages seeded for use as livestock feed or fodder. This includes, annual forage plants seeded for grazing, haying, grazing/haying, grain/grazing, green chop, grazing/green chop, or silage. Recent changes have been made to the program that expanded the number of growing seasons and established a common signup date. Producers interested in obtaining this insurance should contact their local crop insurance agent soon because the signup deadline is July 15 for all growing seasons in the upcoming year starting July 16, 2017 and running through July 15, 2018.
The Annual Forage Insurance Plan now includes a total of four growing seasons that cover the entire year. Growing season 1 is for annual forages planted between July 16 and October 15. Growing season 2 is for annual forage planted between October 16 and January 15. Growing season 3 is for annual forage planted between January 16 and April 15. And, finally, growing season 4 is for annual forage planted between April 16 and July 15.
The Annual Forage Insurance Plan coverage is based off of precipitation index data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center (NOAA CPC). Producers can insure up to 90% of the Expected Grid Index across a series of two month intervals spanning the coverage period for each growing season. Growing season 1 includes coverage intervals from September 1 to March 31. Growing season 2 includes coverage intervals from December 1 to June 30. Growing season 3 includes coverage intervals from March 1 to September 30. And, finally, growing season 4 includes coverage intervals from June 1 to November 30.
Both irrigated and non-irrigated acres are insurable. Each county in Nebraska has a County Base Value determined by the RMA that represents its annual forage productive value regardless of production method. For example, the 2017 County Base Value for Lincoln County, Nebraska is $199.86 per acre. A producer can select a productivity factor between 60% ($107.92 per acre) and 150% ($269.81 per acre) of the County Base Value depending upon their own projected productive value, cost of production, etc. and their associated desire for insurance coverage.
Annual Forage Insurance Plan premium costs will vary depending upon the coverage selected. Producers interested in using the Plan are encouraged to access the decision support tool on the RMA website to explore various coverage options, premium costs and performance data based on historical rainfall indices. Premium costs are subsidized from 51% to 59% depending upon coverage level selection. Catastrophic (CAT) coverage is also available.
Producers interested in using the Annual Forage Insurance Plan are encouraged to contact their local crop insurance agent and visit the RMA webite to access more information including a grid locator, decision support tool and all of the historical rainfall indices. A recorded webinar on this topic is also available.
Jay Parsons, Farm and Ranch Management Specialist
Department of Agricultural Economics
University of Nebraska–Lincoln