Federal crop insurance continues to evolve for the better as producers’ suggestions are implemented through policy enhancements and new policy development.
Currently apples can be insured under the Actual Production History (APH) program offered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA). This program has proven to be valued by apple producers, with 79% of total apple orchard acres in the United States being insured under this plan, according to 2018 RMA and NASS data. However, the apple industry has been experiencing change – high-density plantings are becoming commonplace and newer variety prices are exceeding $10 per tree. Something different was needed to insure the tree itself, rather than just the fruit production.
Apple producers are at the forefront of an exciting, new change to the apple crop insurance program whereby the apple tree can now be insured in addition to the apple production. Starting with the 2021 crop year, Apple Tree Insurance will be available apple producers for the first time. Below are important components of this new program.
- This program will be available in all major apple producing counties in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York.
- The Sales Closing Date for the 2021 crop year is April 15, 2020 with coverage commencing on July 1, 2020.
- It is a tree-based dollar amount of insurance with liability on a per tree basis.
- Different coverage elections are available for each apple tree type.
- The key, covered perils include freeze, wind, hail, fire, insects, and diseases.
- Additional optional coverages are also available such as Comprehensive Tree Value Endorsement, Fire Blight Endorsement (mandatory is some states), and Occurrence Loss Option.
Your local crop insurance agent is available to personally explain this exciting new program further and answer any questions. They will walk you through the basics of the program, optional coverages available, and the acreage reporting requirements that are a key component of this program. Most importantly, they will assist you in determining if this new risk management tool is a good fit for your apple orchards.