Crop Insurance Today February 2013 - (Page 4)

CropInsuranceTODAY Acreage Reporting Plan Common Land Unit By Troy Brady, NCIS The objective of this article is to provide a history of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) efforts to convert acreage reporting to a common land unit (CLU) basis, outlining the requirements and impacts of these efforts for Approved Insurance Providers (AIP), agents and the insured producer. This article will provide the definition and examples of a Common Land Unit, RMA’s efforts to adopt acreage reporting by CLU, including a brief overview of USDA’s Acreage and Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative (ACRSI) and its requirements for acreage reporting by CLU, will be reviewed. The requirements of RMA’s CLU implementation plan outlined in RMA Informational Memorandum IS-12-002 will be outlined in detail. An overview of the resources available to AIPs and agents to facilitate acreage reporting by CLU as well as how this new acreage reporting requirement impacts AIPs, agents and insured producers will be provided. Finally, issues currently impacting CLU acreage reporting and the industry’s efforts to address those issues will be covered. What is a CLU? In Farm Service Agency (FSA) terminology, a CLU is an individual contiguous farming parcel, which is the smallest unit of land that has: 1. A permanent, contiguous boundary; 2. Common land cover and land management; 3. A common owner; and/or, 4. A common producer association. In simplest terms, it is a field. But it is not quite that simple. The USDA’s Acreage and Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative (ACRSI) defines a CLU as the smallest area of land with the same land classification and ownership that has a permanent contiguous boundary. Permanent 4 FEBRUARY2013 boundaries may include field boundaries, fences, rivers, creeks, grass, waterways, tree and forest lines or other similar features. While a parcel of land may have a regular shape to it, that parcel could in fact be subdivided into multiple CLUs, with each subdivision of the field representing a different CLU. For example, near the center of Figure 1 the reader can see a square parcel with a tree line dividing it. The acreage north of the tree line contains 37.52 tillable acres in one CLU, the acreage west of the tree line contains 26.12 tillable acres in a second CLU, while the acreage to the south of the tree line contains 77.75 tillable acres in a third CLU, with the tree line accounting for 15.22 acres that would be identified as a fourth CLU. CLU Identification A CLU is identified by FSA Farm, Tract, and Field numbers. Since FSA Farm, Tract and Field numbers are considered Personally Identifying Information (PII) under Section 1619 of the 2008 Farm Bill, FSA also assigns each CLU a unique identifier called the CLU ID. The CLU ID is a globally unique identifier (GUID) that is system generated. The CLU ID is used primarily by automated systems and generally is not known by the producer. In addition, a CLU can be further subdivided, or contain subfields, that are separated from the balance of the field by a temporary boundary that may change from year to year. Subfields may be established annually and may represent different commodities or cropping patterns that can be identified by temporary boundaries. The CLU subfields will retain the CLU identifier, but a subfield also contains an additional identifier for each separate subfield within the CLU. For instance, in the 154.24 acre square CLU in the upper left-hand corner of Figure 1 the reader can see two distinct crops planted in each of the north and south halves of the CLU. The area planted to the crop in the north half of the CLU could be identified as subfield 1, while the area planted to the crop in the south half of the CLU could be identified as subfield 2. If subfield 2 was further subdivided into a third area that was planted to the same crop as was planted in subfield 1, the northern area in the CLU could be identified as subfield 1a, the middle subfield could be identified as subfield 2, and the southern subfield could be identified as subfield 1b since it was planted to the same crop as subfield 1a. If the acres planted to each crop were then switched between these subfields in the following crop year, in a rotational planting for example, the numbering of the individual subfields in the subsequent crop year may not be the same as the previous crop year, making it difficult to rely on subfield as a permanent land location identifier. Because both the location and identification of a subfield can change year-to-year, acreage reporting by subfield within a CLU is not currently a requirement of RMA’s CLU acreage reporting plan. Figure 2 shows another type of CLU structure for a field irrigated with a center pivot. Some FSA county offices may identify each of the nonirrigated corners of the field with separate CLUs, as shown in the two circular fields in the lefthand side of Figure 2. Each of these non-irrigated acres around the circular field are identified as separate CLUs. Note that the other two irrigated fields in Figure 2 do not show the corners in separate CLUs. Acreage Reporting by CLU The requirement for acreage reporting by CLU began with discussions in 2008 at USDA with RMA and FSA. Those early discussions

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Crop Insurance Today February 2013

Primum Non Nocere-Redux
Common Land Unit Acreage Reporting Plan
A Challenging 2012 for NCIS & the Crop Insurance Industry
NCIS Participates in NAFB "Trade Talk"
The Value of Crop Insurance Case Study
Step 8 -- Managing Constraints
Insurable Crops: Locations & Plans

Crop Insurance Today February 2013