New Crop Insurance Legislation Introduced

Representative Randy Neugebauer, a Texas Republican, recently introduced a new bill to the House of Representatives. The Crop Risk Options Plan Act is intended to provide new federal crop insurance options to producers.

The bill would amend the Federal Crop Insurance Act, and allow crop insurance coverage to be purchased on either an individual or an area yield and loss basis. The representative indicated this would allow them to improve production history determinations and make it possible for producers to cover some or all of their deductible under the individual yield and loss policy.

"I believe this bill would enhance the current crop insurance program for farmers as they face weather risks. I am committed to ensuring farmers and ranchers have cost-effective crop insurance options that work," Neugebauer said in a statement.

He noted one focus of the legislation is the ability to insure crops against shallow losses comprising from a quarter to a third of a farmer's crop, which can cause difficulties under current multi-peril insurance plans because they do not always trigger indemnity.

If passed, the act would also mandate the Risk Management Agency calculate yield histories using a 7-year average, which according to the representative would better fit modern crop production practices than the current 10-year average.

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