The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) has announced an expansion of the pilot Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) plan for hemp that will take effect in the 2021 crop year.
MCPI is the most common form of the federal crop insurance programme in the USA that insures against crop yield losses from all natural perils such as weather, fire and pestilence by enabling farmers to insure a certain percentage of historical crop production.
While delivered by private companies, MPCI is reinsured by the federal government.
The new states to be included for MPCI coverage are Arizona, Arkansas, Nevada and Texas – but only select counties within each. Additionally, 13 new counties are being included in states with existing coverage.
“We are pleased to expand the hemp program and make other improvements for hemp producers,” said USDA’s RMA Administrator Martin Barbre. “Hemp offers exciting economic opportunities for our nation’s farmers, and we are listening and responding to their risk management needs.”
The RMA originally announced insurance for hemp growers in some counties of 21 states beginning this year in late 2019, covering hemp grown for fiber, grain or cannabidiol. Different coverage levels can be taken out for each insured type and under the pilot there was a minimum acreage requirement of five acres for CBD and 25 acres for grain and fiber crops.
For this year the pilot was offered in states where at least 1,000 acres of hemp were planted and reported to USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) in 2019.
All participating growers must have a hemp licence and comply with applicable state, tribal or federal regulations under the 2018 Farm Bill, or be operating under a state or university research pilot as authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.
Revenue protection for hemp is also offered across the USA under the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection plan, the Nursery crop insurance program and the Nursery Value Select pilot crop insurance program. The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program also protects against hemp losses where no permanent federal crop insurance program is available. It seems there are also some other private insurance options available in the USA these days as well.