WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - The United States Department of Agriculture or USDA's Risk Management Agency said it is rolling out a new crop insurance option for hemp growers in select counties of 21 states in 2020.
The pilot insurance program will provide Actual Production History or APH coverage under the agency's Multi-Peril Crop Insurance or MPCI program.
The MPCI coverage is for hemp grown for fiber, grain or CBD oil for the 2020 crop year, and is in addition to the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection coverage available to hemp growers announced earlier this year.
The USDA's new crop insurance program is for eligible producers in certain counties in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
'We are excited to offer coverage to certain hemp producers in this pilot program. Since this is a pilot program, we look forward to feedback from producers on the program in the coming crop year,' said RMA Administrator Martin Barbre.
The USDA will provide more information on the MPCI pilot in 2020. Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents.
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill has legalized hemp production in the U.S. The 2018 Farm Bill defines hemp as containing 0.3 percent or less tetrahydrocannabinol or THC on a dry-weight basis.
In August, the USDA announced that hemp grown for fiber, flower or seeds will be eligible for federal crop insurance. Industrial hemp growers will be able to obtain insurance coverage under the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection or WFRP program for the crop year 2020.
To be eligible for the new MPCI pilot program, hemp producers must comply with applicable state, tribal or federal regulations for hemp production, have at least one year of history producing the crop, and have a contract for the sale of the insured hemp.
Hemp producers also must be a part of a state or university research pilot, as authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, or be licensed under a state, tribal or federal program approved under the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service interim final rule issued in October 2019.
In addition, hemp will be insurable under the Nursery crop insurance program and the Nursery Value Select pilot crop insurance program, beginning with the 2021 crop year.
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