“For a farmer starting out, crop insurance is an absolute necessity. Crop losses two out of my first three years would have been a financial disaster without crop insurance. It’s the best investment you can make.”
- Rob Laroque, Carter Hill Orchard, Concord, NH
Crop insurance is subsidized with federal funds and sold by private crop insurance agents. In recent years, production on nearly 8,000 acres planted to corn and 1,200 acres in apple orchards have been insured under crop specific programs in the State. In addition, one million dollars of farm revenue and two million of nursery crop inventory value were covered.
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- Specific Crop Policies
- Farm Revenue Insurance
- Risk Management
- Press Releases & Workshops
- Risk Management Planning Group
- For More Information
Specific Crop Policies
Crop insurance policies available in New Hampshire fall into several basic categories. Multi Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) protects against unavoidable production losses from adverse weather conditions, insect infestation, plant disease, wildlife damage, fire and failure of irrigation water supply. MPCI polices are available for apples, peaches, corn and forage production (legume & legume/grass mixes). Dollar Plan crop policies for fresh market sweet corn, forage seeding and nursery crops provide a guaranteed dollar amount of coverage rather than insuring a production level. Crop Revenue Coverage (CRC) for corn offers protection against unavoidable production losses as well as declines in market price.
Most policies allow farmers to tailor coverage to fit their specific needs. Catastrophic Crop Insurance (CAT) is a minimum level of coverage with very little cost to the farmer. Higher levels of crop insurance (buy-up protection) are subsidized by the USDA so that farmers pay only 33 to 45% of the actual policy cost. Some plans offer options for producers who raise crops for specific markets where quality is critical. Insurance coverage for farmers following organic practices is commonly obtained through a written agreement.
Fresh Market Sweet Corn
Insurance Coverage for Organic Crops
Understanding Crop Insurance, Apples
Understanding Crop Insurance, Fresh Market Sweet Corn
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Farm Revenue Insurance
Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) and Adjusted Gross Revenue-Lite (AGR-Lite) are whole-farm revenue insurance programs available to New Hampshire farmers on a pilot basis. These programs protect farmers against loss of farm revenue due to unavoidable natural disasters and market fluctuations. Covered revenue includes income from most crops and commodities. The guaranteed revenue is based on past years’ tax returns. At application, the farmer selects the level of coverage desired.
AGR-Lite is a streamlined version of AGR with fewer application requirements and no restrictions on the portion of insurable revenue from livestock and livestock products. However, a drawback of AGR-Lite is the lower maximum farm revenue which is covered under the policy.
Adjusted Gross Revenue
Adjusted Gross Revenue-Lite
Understanding Crop Insurance, Adjusted Gross Revenue
Dairy Livestock Gross Margin (LGM-Dairy)
Launched in 2008, the LGM – Dairy program provides dairy producers with protection against declining gross margin on milk production. Gross margin is defined as the market value of milk produced minus feed costs. Futures prices on CME for a specific time period on milk, and CBOT for corn and soybean meal are used to compute the gross margin. The program covers the difference between the computed (guaranteed or expected) gross margin and the actual gross margin. If the actual gross margin is smaller than the expected gross margin, the LGM-Dairy program makes a payment at the end of the period.
There is a short window each month, last business Friday, when producers can sign up. The sales period starts after the close of markets and end at 8 pm the following day.
The insurance program can be purchased any of the 12 months of the year for as short as one month or for the whole insurance period of 10 months. The first few months after purchasing the insurance are not included in the coverage. The premium for the insurance is determined by USDA.
Fact Sheets and References:
Livestock Gross Margin Insurance, Dairy Cattle
Frequently Asked Questions about Livestock Gross Margin- Dairy
Livestock Gross Margin Insurance for Dairy Cattle (Univ. of Wisconsin)
The USDA Risk Management Agency along with the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, the USDA Farm Service Agency and private industry have been aggressively helping farmers to identify and better manage the different sources of risk. Statewide seminars and workshops, along with educational materials, cover a wide range of topics with contributions by professionals from around the Northeast region.
Risk management is an expansive, whole farm approach to ensuring the success of family farms. Crop and revenue insurance are only a small part of a farmer’s strategy to reduce risk. Risk management education and research efforts focus on six themes. Production risk examines the variability associated with yield or output. Marketing risk deals with price fluctuations and meeting target market sales. Financial risk addresses securing business ownership while meeting cash flow needs. Human resource risk examines the role of people in the firm. Legal risk considers business agreements, obligations and liability issues. Environmental risk addresses water quality, chemical use and animal welfare.
Risk Management Planning (Flash Files)
Part 1: Identifying Sources of Risk (Flash)
Part 2: Risk Bearing Ability & Management Strategies (Flash)
Part 3: Completing the Risk Management Plan & Resources (Flash)
Risk Management Planning Forms
Risk Management Planning Forms
A Risk Management Farm Plan Begins with You: Ideas for New Hampshire Farmers & Growers
Risk Management Checklist
Managing Business Risk (PDF)
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Recent Press Releases
Will Your 2012 Risk Management Plan Ensure You'll Be Farming Next Year January 2012
Corn Combo Prices & Spring-Planted Crop Enrollment March 2012
Deadline for Nursery Crop Insurance Signup April 2012
NH Farmers to Receive Additional Federal Crop Insurance Premium Assistance June 2012
November Deadline for 2013 Apple & Peach Crop Insurance Programs October 2012
Livestock Gross Margin-dairy Enrollment November 2012
Link to Upcoming New Hampshire Workshops
Risk Management Planning Group
The risk management planning group meets throughout the year to plan risk management educational and informational activities. These efforts are supported with USDA funding under the Targeted States Program. Planning group members are key partners in developing and delivering materials at seminars, workshops, and trade shows as well as though direct mail, news media and web sites. Current group members include:
The risk management planning group values comments on past programs and suggestions for future directions. Please feel free to contact any of the current group members with your input.
For More Information
Further information on New Hampshire educational programs can be obtained by contacting a member of the Risk Management Planning Group. For general information about risk management and crop insurance, the following links are useful:
General Web Sites:
RMA Online, USDA Risk Management Agency
The Northeast Center for Risk Management Education
National Ag Risk Management Education Library
New Hampshire Farm Service Agency
New Hampshire Cooperative Extension
Crop Growers LLP
Arthur Carroll Crop Insurance Agency
New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation
Granite State Association of FFA
Small & Beginning Farmers of New Hampshire
Organization for Refugee & Immigrant Success
Web Sites of Companies Actively Underwriting Policies in NH:
Rain and Hail Insurance Service
Rural Community Insurance Services
Insurance Agent List:
RMA Crop Insurance Agent Locator Tool
Your local Farm Service Agency office will also have information on authorized crop insurance providers.
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