A recent proposal and a change in Risk Management Agency programs offer new crop insurance to sorghum producers.

On Jan. 6, USDA’s Risk Management Agency announced that it has published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would reward farmers participating in the federal crop insurance program for good performance. Under the proposed program, payment amounts would vary by producer and will be based on each qualified producer’s history in the program.

The estimated refund amount per producer is approximately $1,000. The program has a proposed maximum limit at $25,000 with a minimum payment of $25. Data from 2009 and prior crop years will be used during the first year of the proposed program because not all 2010 data is finalized.

RMA expects this proposed Good Performance Refund program will provide producers in rural America with about $75 million this year in crop insurance refunds. It is estimated that the proposed program would benefit farmers and ranchers in more than two-thirds of counties nationwide.

The proposed rule in the Federal Register has a 15-day comment period that ends Jan. 21, 2011. This notification is intended to give the public an opportunity to review the proposed rule and prepare comments to be submitted during the comment period. The proposed program is intended to be available before the spring planting season.

The Federal Register notice is accessible at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-01-06/pdf/2011-14.pdf. RMA encourages any comments or submission of opinion on this matter.

More Insurance Options for Oklahoma Sorghum Farmers

Oklahoma producers now have more insurance options for sorghum with RMA’s decision to allow for producers in the following counties to insure double-cropped grain sorghum with a written agreement.

The producer can visit with their crop insurance agent about securing the written agreement, which requires at least three years of production history of double cropping. The added counties for 2011 are Alfalfa, Cherokee, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Garfield, Grant, Haskell, Hughes, Kay, Le Flore, Mayes, McCurtain, McIntosh, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pittsburg, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington.

Also in the counties of Alfalfa, Garfield, Grant, Kay, Noble, Osage, Pawnee and Payne, the earliest planting date has been moved to April 26. By moving the earliest planting date, RMA recognizes the importance of letting producers plant their sorghum earlier and still have coverage for replanting.