Crop Insurance Today First Quarter 2020 - 17

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What's New for 2020
By NCIS Staff

If you have read any of the other articles in
this issue of TODAY® you will probably see a
theme of "program growth" running throughout the stories. Well, this article explains just a a
few of the recent changes/improvements that are
being implemented for the 2020 crop year to expand and improve the crop insurance program
for U.S. farmers and ranchers.

Nursery Value Select

The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation
(FCIC) Board of Directors recently approved a
new Nursery Value Select (NVS) pilot program
for select states and counties. The NVS pilot program was a collaborative contract effort by the
Risk Management Agency (RMA) and Watts and
Associates that included numerous nursery producer and related stakeholder face-to-face meetings in the research and development activities.
These, along with company review and input,
were aimed at addressing the decline in program
participation. The new pilot program, which is
an asset-based form of insurance, will run concurrently with the existing nursery program and
cover similar causes of loss.
The NVS pilot program addresses nursery
producer and agent concerns with the con-

siderable paperwork requirements that were
deemed onerous and burdensome, along with
the costs of maintaining the required materials
needed for underwriting and loss adjustment
activities. In addition, the current program is
expensive to maintain and administer for RMA
due to its reliance on third-party developed
software. Some of the new features of the NVS
pilot program include:
	 *	Simplification of the application and annual
policy renewal process;
	 *	Allowing nursery producers to select the dollar amount of coverage that best fits their risk
management needs, and for buy-up policies
coverage is tailored by individual practice
(container or field grown) or by choosing
from any of 10 potential plant categories;
	 *	 A simplified loss adjustment process that uses
a more accurate approach to determining
plant values by placing greater reliance upon
the nursery producer's actual sales receipts,
along with increased producer participation
in determining a damaged plant's ability to be
marketed or rehabilitated;
	 *	 Elimination of a plant list based on third-party software and greater reliance on the producer's inventory records, along with plant

category naming conventions more familiar
to the nursery industry;
	 *	Tailored program dates, including two sales
closing dates of May 1 (Gulf and Atlantic
Coasts) or September 1 (remainder of the
U.S.) that are better suited to the agronomic
and industry nursery management practices
in different regions across the country; and,
	 *	A new Occurrence Loss Option moving the
deductible from a unit level to a plant level for
an additional premium.
The goals of the NVS pilot program are to
encourage new nursery producers who have not
previously purchased crop insurance to consider
this new risk management tool, and to encourage nursery producers who have purchased crop
insurance in the past to buy higher levels of coverage. Overall the new program is aimed to make
nursery crop insurance more attractive and effective for nursery producers nationwide, along
with addressing the current program's shortcomings that stakeholders shared throughout the developmental effort.
The NVS pilot program is available for 2020
in select counties in Alabama, Colorado, Florida,
Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas,
and Washington.

New Irrigation Practices
for Rice

Intermittent Flood Irrigation and Furrow
irrigation are new options for rice farmers. The
2018 Farm Bill required RMA to insure new and
innovative practices for rice. Both practices are
available in the Delta Region, including some
counties in Florida, Oklahoma and Texas. For
specific county availability, farmers are should	
contact their local crop insurance agent.
In the past, farmers only had the option to
insure their rice under the flood irrigation practice, with the exception of acreage covered by
the Sprinkler Irrigated Rice Endorsement. The
new alternative irrigation methods will offer rice
CROPINSURANCE TODAY®

17


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Crop Insurance Today First Quarter 2020

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