FCIC Approves Expansion of Pa. Crop Coverage

August 27, 2003

Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff announced that the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) has raised the ceiling on Pennsylvania’s AGR-Lite crop insurance protection program from $100,000 to $250,000, extending protection to producers with annual gross revenues up to $500,000. In addition, the FCIC approved the use of Pennsylvania’s AGR-Lite crop insurance model in several other northeastern states. A previous announcement set forth details of the program. (See IJ Web site Aug. 13)

“Pennsylvania farmers are faced with increasing market and weather-related risks and need access to a risk-management program that reflects production aspects unique to Pennsylvania and the northeast,” Wolff stated. “AGR-Lite reflects our agriculture’s unique diversity and has the potential of providing meaningful crop insurance protection for virtually all types of crops, animal production, and byproducts (including milk) for the vast majority of Pennsylvania farmers.”

He indicated that farm-level risk management has been good public policy for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and has meant economic survival for farmers. Producers received loss payments of about $115 million over the past five years in exchange for net premiums of about $18 million.

AGR-Lite will be made available for producer enrollment in mid-December with Jan. 31, 2004, as the enrollment deadline. Purchase will be made through crop insurance agents.

The Department listed the following benefits:
— Whole-farm gross revenue protection with a single policy. The plan also can be used in conjunction with other Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) coverage plans as either an umbrella policy or a means to make protection available for crops presently not eligible;
— AGR-Lite will be available in a number of counties and provides an opportunity for producers who previously could not purchase insurance for their operations to now do so;
— Tax records and commodity production plans are necessary to make an accurate quote for the policy;
— Producers can purchase coverage levels of 80 percent, 75 percent or 65 percent of their five-year revenue history. Producers avoid the worry of forgetting to buy coverage on one of their crops as the policy covers all farm revenue;
— Affordable rates. AGR-Lite premiums will be reduced significantly by cost sharing funds from USDA and the Pennsylvania Crop Insurance Assistance Program.

For additional information regarding Pennsylvania’s crop insurance program, contact the Department of Agriculture at (717) 787-2376 or visit the PA PowerPort at www.state.pa.us, PA Keyword: “agriculture.” Please check with your local crop insurance agent regarding your specific crop insurance policy requirements. A list of agents can be obtained at www.rma.usda.gov.

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