Texas AgriLife Extension Service economist Joe Outlaw recommends farmers should sign up for the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) insurance program before the September deadline.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency recently announced counties covered under SCO.

Outlaw, co-director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University and AgriLife Extension economist in College Station, made that recommendation at the recent Cattle Trails Wheat and Stocker Conference at Wichita Falls shortly after the announcement was made.

With the crop insurance deadline looming in September and many of the final details unknown on the farm bill, the best thing for producers to do now is go ahead and sign up for the Supplemental Coverage Option, or SCO as it will be known, when they purchase the individual coverage they normally buy, Outlaw said.

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They have several months to drop SCO if they decide they do not want it or if they select the Agricultural Risk Coverage, or ARC as it will be known, on their wheat through the USDA Farm Service Agency, he said. Choosing the Agricultural Risk Coverage will automatically make them ineligible to buy or keep SCO.

Outlaw said the final decision doesn’t have to be made until December, so producers should go ahead and sign up for SCO now and then drop it before the deadline if they decide it is not for them. Read more on coverage options.