The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency this week announced greater crop insurance options for farmers against unexpected decreases in their operating margin. Offered through the federal crop insurance program, margin protection insurance for corn, wheat, rice and soybeans will be available in more states and have updates designed to better clarify the real input costs covered beginning in 2018. The RMA is expanding margin protection for corn and soybeans to Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The expansion also includes a harvest price option, which allows farmers to get the greater price so they can rebound faster.
Margin protection insurance is privately-developed and first became available in 2016 to provide coverage based on an expected margin, which is the expected area revenue minus the expected area operating costs, for each applicable crop, type and practice. A producer may choose coverage from 70 percent to 95 percent of their expected margin. The last day to purchase a margin protection policy for corn, soybeans, and spring wheat is September 30, 2017.