Image by Edwin Remsberg
Multi-peril crop insurance is a valuable risk management tool which allows you to insure against losses on your farm due to adverse weather conditions, price fluctuations, and unavoidable pests and diseases. It shifts unavoidable production risks to an insurance company for the payment of a fixed amount of premium per acre.
The crop insurance program is the centerpiece of the Federal government’s effort to provide a safety net for farmers. Crop insurance is available nationwide and gives farmers the freedom to choose the level of coverage they need based on their own risk experiences and preferences. A minimum level of crop insurance, called Catastrophic Risk Protection or CAT insurance, is available to all farmers regardless of farm size. There is no premium cost (all premiums are paid by the Federal government) for CAT coverage; there is however, an administrative fee of $300 for each crop insured in the county. Higher levels of crop insurance (buy-up protection) are also federally subsidized, with farmers nationwide paying 33 to 62 percent of the actual cost of the insurance depending on the level of coverage selected. Farmers must be in conservation compliance, demonstrating that their operation conforms to highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions, in order to be eligible for crop insurance subsidies.
Crop Insurance For Maryland Field Crops And Livestock by Jay Harper (Penn State University) and Paul Goeringer (AREC, University of Maryland).