Crop Insurance Helps Manage Risk

Importance of Crop Insurance

By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor

Crop insurance is an important risk management tool for California farmers. California Ag Today recently spoke with Mickey Paggi about the topic. He’s an agriculture policy analyst for National Crop Insurance Services, a nonprofit trade association based in Kansas.

There are certain deadlines for getting enrolled in the programs.

“The force of the crop insurance agents that are on the ground in the areas where these crops are grown is really valuable, and they can work individually with the producer to make them aware of what they have to do when they have to do it,” Paggi said.

These agents work with the farmers and available programs to find the best fit for their operation. They cover northern, central, and southern California.

Paggi said that a good place to start if you’re looking for more information about crop insurance is the USDA Risk Management Agency. The RMA looks to increase the availability and effectiveness of federal crop insurance, which is to be used as a risk management tool.

“RMA’s vision is to secure the future of agriculture by providing world-class management tools to rural America. This website can be found at rma.udsa.gov,” he said.

“I would start … with the USDA RMA website because it actually has a link to the individual commodity coverage, and within those fact sheets, they actually have a listing of crop insurance agents within your commodity,” Paggi explained.

Drought Assistance Open House for Farmers, Ranchers and Farmworkers

As California faces one of the driest years ever recorded, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be holding an informational session on drought resources for farmers, ranchers and farmworkers in Cloverdale.

This session will provide information on a variety of state and federal government programs designed to assist farmers with water conservation, crop insurance, and other on-farm management tools. Information on farmworker assistance programs will also be available.

While deadlines for some federal assistance programs have already passed for the 2014 crop year, there are many programs still available to those involved in agriculture.

Cloverdale event information:

March 17, 2014 – 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Cloverdale/Sonoma County) – Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds 

Several state/federal government entities will be represented at this event, including: USDA Farm Service Agency; USDA Risk Management Agency; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; USDA Rural Development; the California Employment Development Department; and other community resources.

CDFA continues to support California’s drought response. The department has developed a web page as an information clearinghouse on assistance programs for farmers, ranchers and farmworkers; will continue to work with California food banks to address drought-related impacts; and is working with the University of California to develop a real-time assessment of drought impacts in farming and ranching communities.

Additionally, CDFA continues to work as part of Governor Brown’s Drought Task Force to coordinate drought response efforts with other state agencies.

For more information concerning drought resources for California farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers, please visit – www.cdfa.ca.gov/drought