In 2012, Hoosier farmers saw a big drop in their corn and soybean yields as a result of the drought. Under a new provision of the federal crop insurance program, that year can be eliminated from their production history. In making the announcement, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said the provision will enable growers to better manage their risk, “Key programs launched or extended as part of the 2014 Farm Bill are essential to USDA’s commitment to help rural communities grow. These efforts give farmers, ranchers, and their families better security as they work to ensure Americans have safe and affordable food.” He added, “By getting other 2014 Farm Bill programs implemented efficiently, we are now able to offer yield exclusion for Spring 2015 crops, providing relief to farmers impacted by severe weather.”
The Actual Production History (APH) Yield Exclusion, available nationwide for farmers of select crops starting next spring, allows eligible producers who have been hit with severe weather to receive a higher approved yield on their insurance policies through the federal crop insurance program. The coverage is for the 2015 corn, soybean, spring wheat, sorghum, cotton, rice, barley, canola, sunflowers, peanuts, and popcorn. Details will be released in December. The level of insurance coverage available to a farmer is based on the farmer’s average recent yields. In the past, a year of particularly low yields that occurred due to severe weather beyond the farmer’s control would reduce the level of insurance coverage available to the farmer in future years. By excluding unusually bad years, farmers will not have to worry that a natural disaster will reduce their insurance coverage for years to come.