Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff this week announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will award $2 million in assistance to the state’s producers to make crop insurance more affordable during the 2005 crop year.
Applications or changes must be completed with crop insurance agents by Jan. 31 for AGR-Lite and AGR enrollees. The Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) programs provide coverage statewide for small to medium-sized farms, and coverage for large farms in selected counties. Applications or updates for other spring crops must be completed by March 15.
“As an extremely effective risk management tool, crop insurance can provide protection for farmers in the event of a natural disaster,” said Wolff. “I encourage farmers not benefiting from Pennsylvania’s crop insurance programs to apply as soon as possible.”
Wolff estimates that the Pennsylvania Crop Insurance Assistance Program, which applies to all 2005 policies, will pay 5 percent on the 2005 total crop insurance premiums, which translates to nearly 10 percent of the net premium due for most producers. The state insurance program is automatic when a producer purchases a policy from a crop insurance agent. A new law, passed in November 2004, directs all the annual funding to help pay the farmer premiums.
“Pennsylvania is considered a national leader in crop insurance and the Department has worked hard to encourage producers to evaluate their farm risk management plans so they can better withstand a crop disaster and return to profitability quickly,” said Wolff. “Crop insurance has made a positive impact on many farms that suffered disasters over the past five years.”
Wolff added that during this period, producers received about $125 million in loss payments compared with $31 million in net producer premiums, which calculates to about $4 in loss payments for each dollar of producer paid premiums.
The state Department of Agriculture has paid almost $10 million of producers’ premiums over the past five years.
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