WASHINGTON — USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) has announced new benefits available to military veterans with farms or ranches who are seeking federal crop insurance coverage, including exemptions from fees and additional coverage options provided by the 2018 Farm Bill and effective for the 2019 crop year.
For veterans seeking crop insurance, the 2018 Farm Bill provides:
- An exemption from paying the administrative fee for catastrophic and additional coverage policies;
- An additional 10 percent premium subsidy for additional coverage policies that have premium subsidy;
- The ability to use another person’s production history for the specific acreage transferred to veterans who previously were involved in the decision making or physical activities of crop production on the acreage; and
- An increase in yield adjustment, from 60 to 80 percent of the applicable transitional yield.
“The 2018 Farm Bill provides improved benefits for military veterans interested in pursuing opportunities in production agriculture,” said RMA Administrator Martin Barbre. “RMA offers great risk management tools for beginning farmers and ranchers, and we’re excited to now offer these tools to our veterans who have so selflessly served our country.”
These changes will allow veterans who are farming and ranching to have higher insurance coverages than if they relied upon county averages to establish their insurance guarantees or a lower percentage of the county average to substitute low yields because of an insurable cause of loss.
Eligible producers are veterans – active duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard, or any of their reserve components and discharged or released during the past five years under conditions other than dishonorable – who have actively operated and managed a farm or ranch with an insurable interest in any crop or livestock for five crop years or less or have been discharged from active duty during the most recent five crop years.
Eligible producers may apply using an application form available from a crop insurance agent to access benefits.
For the 2019 crop year, producers can access these benefits for crops with a sales closing date on or after December 20, 2018. Applications must be completed by June 1, 2019, or the acreage reporting date, whichever is later. These benefits for livestock policies will be available beginning on July 1, 2019, for the 2020 crop year. More information can be found in the recently posted RMA Veteran Farmer or Rancher Benefits bulletin. A 2019 Veteran Farmer or Rancher Benefits fact sheet is available outlining your eligibility and benefits.
On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides support, certainty and stability to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation. RMA is committed to implementing these changes as quickly and effectively as possible, and today’s updates are part of meeting that goal.
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