Some 4,000 Pa. Farmers to Receive Risk Management Assistance

December 9, 2005

Pennsylvania is setting up programs to help educate some 4,000 farmers about crop insurance and risk management issues.

Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff announced that Pennsylvania won a $754,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to educate producers on crop insurance opportunities in 2006.

“Pennsylvania is recognized as a leader in risk management and crop insurance,” said Wolff. “Since crop insurance is an essential part of a farmer’s risk management plan, we sought this funding so that we could help our farmers continue to grow and expand their operations.

“The Department of Agriculture has developed innovative programs to address the needs of Pennsylvania’s agricultural producers and help them minimize the risk associated with factors such as drought and excessive moisture. Producers need to find the right crop insurance products for their needs, and we’re going to help them do that.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is the only state agriculture agency in the nation to develop and own a crop insurance product. AGR-Lite was reportedly created by the department in response to many farmers not having traditional products available for their farms. This whole-farm product is an umbrella policy designed for specialty crop and diversified farm operations. Seventeen other states offer AGR-Lite products under the ownership and oversight of Pennsylvania.

The Department of Agriculture will partner with the USDA, Pennsylvania State University and others to reach more than 4,000 producers. The grant will fund crop insurance workshops, presentations, trade shows, one-on-one meetings and promotional efforts through print and broadcast outlets.

Crop insurance has paid $127 million in loss payments to Pennsylvania producers in the last five years, representing a $4 return on each dollar invested.

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