Labor Day
In recognition of the Labor Day Holiday, our office will be closed Monday, September 4th, 2017. Regular hours will resume Tuesday, September 5th.
PAW Update and Advisory
Pursuant to the 2018 Crop Insurance Handbook and 2018 Documents and Supplemental Standards Handbook, RMA has added additional questions to the PAW:
  • Is acreage transitioning from conventional to organic for the first year?
  • Is acreage changing from organic to conventional for the first year?
  • Organic: Has the acreage been affected by a Prohibited Substance (biological, chemical, or other agent) which results in change in practice?
  • Is any of your crop direct market or vertically integrated?

Linked below is the prototype for Perennials for plans 47 (ARH) and 90 (APH). This update is expected to go live in GlobalAgWorks on 9/15/2017 alongside the 8/31 CCD (citrus, almonds, etc.) policy roll from RY17 to RY18. Global Ag recommends waiting until 9/15/17 before printing renewal documents.

If you have any questions, please contact Underwriting@GlobalAg.com
GAO-17-501: Report on Crop Insurance Delivery Costs
Last week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the federal crop insurance program that examines expense payments to companies, the program’s target rate of return, and opportunities for the federal government to reduce its delivery costs for the program.

GAO made the following recommendations in its report:
  • Repeal the “sideboard” language in the 2014 farm bill that prevents USDA from taking money out of crop insurance through the SRA process.
  • Once the sideboard language is repealed, renegotiate the SRA to decrease the target rate of return for companies and consider adjustments to the risk the companies retain versus the risk the government retains.
  • Adjust the way A&O is calculated to level out fluctuations in payments caused by changes in various crop prices. 

While it’s not surprising that GAO made recommendations to cut program expenses (as they’ve done many times in the past), this report is notable because: 1) it was requested by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA); and 2) it talks specifically about the run-up in almond prices. In response, the industry has drafted a unified rebuttal that may be beneficial if you field any questions about the GAO report.

You can read the entire GAO report as well as the industry response below.
Insurance Policy Changes - August 31 Contract Change Date
RMA made the following changes to insurance policies with an Aug. 31 Contract Change Date:
  • Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage – Now offering an organic price for non-irrigated organic hay for the 2018 crop year. For more information, click here
  • Whole-Farm Revenue Protection – Added a sales closing date for late fiscal year filers. For more information, click here.  
  • Blueberries – New practice allowed in Santa Barbara and Venrura counties for blueberries grown in pots. For more information, click here.  
  • Expansion – Insurance now available for the following crops in the following counties: 
  • Blueberries – Morrow, Oregon
  • Grapes - San Diego, California
  • Pecans – Glenn, California
Davis RO Updated Crop Fact Sheets
RMA's Davis, CA Regional Office has released updated Crop Fact Sheets for:
  • Onions in AZ, CA, NV, and UT
  • Sugar Beets in CA
2018 Pistachio Insurance Standards Handbook
RMA has published the 2018 Pistachio Pilot Insurance Standards Handbook. This handbook provides procedure for administering the APH-Pistachio Pilot Program. This
handbook is effective for the 2018 and succeeding crop years and is not retroactive to any 2017 or prior crop year determinations.
If you are unable to open or view documents, you may need to install  Adobe Reader.

To view previous Global Ag Reports, visit:  http://globalag.com/category/latest-news/