Does Crop Insurance pay in Vermont?

The severe dust storms that occurred during “The Dust Bowl” in the 1930’s caused catastrophic damage to the American and Canadian plains ecology. In response to the devastating agricultural losses due to those drought conditions, Congress established the first Federal Crop Insurance Program.  The early crop insurance efforts were not very successful, and the programs have evolved greatly over the decades.

Visit the NCIS web site – that’s National Crop Insurance Services – and you can find a great deal of information about the “hows” and “whys” of all the federally supported crop insurance programs.  They report that more than 90% of insurable farmland in the United States is now protected through the federal crop insurance program.

However, Vermont farms are considered to be “underserved” by crop insurance. Farms in Vermont and all the northeastern states are typically different than the farms and ranches in other regions of the country.  Many of the enterprises are smaller in total acres and produce more diversified commodities.

NCIS indicates that Vermont crops contribute $889 million to the state’s economy and in 2017, farmers purchased 344 crop insurance policies to cover 70,883 acres, which provided $24.5 million in liability protection. Farmers paid $1 million for this insurance coverage and Crop insurers paid $3.5 million to cover crop losses.

The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) administers the Federal Crop Insurance Program. A public-private partnership between the U.S. government and private insurance companies combines private sector delivery systems with regulatory and financial support of the federal government.  Crop insurance premiums are subsidized by the federal government to make coverage more affordable for agricultural producers.

Should YOU have crop insurance coverage? First, consider all of the potential production and marketing risks for your enterprise.  Then, meet with an agent licensed to sell crop insurance in your state to learn about all the options available for your operation.  Crop insurance may be the right risk management tool for your farm business plan.

For more information, contact Jake Jacobs, UVM Agricultural Risk Management and Crop Insurance Education Coordinator, Morrill Hall, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, email, phone 802-656-7356.

Visit the NCIS website:

Visit the USDA RMA web site:

Photo credit:

This material is funded in partnership with USDA, Risk Management Agency, under award number RM17RMETS524005. Any reference to commercial products, trade names, or brand names is for information only, and no endorsement or approval is intended. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. University of Vermont Extension, Burlington, Vermont. University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.

About Jake Jacobs

Jake Jacobs coordinates outreach education about USDA agricultural risk management and crop insurance programs for Vermont producers.
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