Crop Insurance Today February 2012 - (Page 14)

TODAYcrop insurance 2012 Spring Update Conference The 2012 Spring Update Conference held November 9-10, 2011, had a record attendance. It was easy to see why when you looked at the agenda and saw the guest speakers and topics covered. Michael Scuse, USDA Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Ag Services, was the first guest speaker to address the packed conference room. “The future for American agriculture and rural communities is bright. The most important thing we can do is to provide them [farmers] with the very best crop insurance product we can,” he said. This national conference is designed for NCIS training contacts and company training personnel, with the overall objective to provide trainers with updated technical information and training materials needed to prepare and conduct their company spring training for the 2012 crop year. In addition to covering the myriad of updates to policies and procedures, this conference also addressed recent major announcements by the Risk Management Agency. Trend Adjusted Actual Production History (APH) was released by RMA in mid-October for corn and soybean policies in select counties in 14 Midwestern states. Dr. Bruce Sherrick, from the University of Illinois where Trend Adjusted APH was developed, presented aspects of the research and analysis that went into the product’s development and provided several examples that company trainers can use when explaining the new program to agents. RMA also recently introduced several new pilot programs for the industry. As the developer of a few of these, Alex 14 FEBRUARY 2012 Michael Scuse, Deputy Under Secretary, USDA Dr. Bruce Sherrick, University of Illinois Offerdhal, with Watts & Associates, explained the new popcorn revenue and specialty soybean revenue pilot programs. Ron Lundine, with RMA, discussed the new pistachios, olives and camelina policies. NCIS staff, including Chris Lindsay, Lisa Cain, Michael O’Connor, Dean Strasser, Lynnette Dillon, Loretta Sobba and Don Hutsell presented changes on the Crop Insurance Handbook, other crop policies and procedural changes – including crophail, actuarial updates, Written Agreement Handbook, the Loss Adjustment Manual, and a handful of other topics. With the deadline of the Congressional Super Committee approaching shortly after the conference, NCIS invited Mary Kay Thatcher, American Farm Bureau Federation, to speak on the status of the 2012 Farm Bill. At that time, the ranking members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees were working feverishly to write what was, in essence, the 2012 Farm Bill in the hopes of presenting it to the Super Committee for inclusion in their final legislation to reduce the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion dollars. Miss Thatcher gave a quick overview of the proposals that were introduced by various farm organizations in the hopes that the crop insurance program would be maintained or strengthened. (Ultimately the Super Committee did not reach an agreement on their proposal by the statutory deadline so Farm Bill discussions will continue with the hopes that a new legislation will be finalized prior to the expiration of the current 2008 Farm Bill in September 2012.) Dr. James Hipple, RMA Strategic Data Acquisition and Analysis (SDAA), provided an overview of the large claim forensic remote sensing that is being conducted to promote program integrity. Through the

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Crop Insurance Today February 2012

Isn't there an App for that?
Explaining the Costs of the Crop Insurance Program
NCIS Awards Two Scholarships
2012 Spring Update Conference
Commitee Sees Research First Hand
Trade Talk 2011
Retirements: Ben Latham and Steve Hams
In Memory of Patrick Flanagan
In Memory of Marx M. Mannberger
Step 5-Testing the Current Farm: Will the current farm be feasible in the future?
2011 Premiums: State Rankings
Insurable Crops: Locations & Plans

Crop Insurance Today February 2012