Lack Of Federal Crop Insurance Sows Uncertainty For Cultivators

By William SumnerHemp Business Journal Contributor

Among the most significant reform benefits of the 2018 Farm Bill’s passage was the ability for hemp cultivators to obtain federal crop insurance. Yet, more than 10 months after the measure’s passage, no such policy has been available to the hemp industry.

The lack of coverage has been acutely missed by many cultivators, including several in Oregon who lost approximately $25 million in damaged crops due to a late-summer hailstorm in the state’s central region. The subsequent losses led many to wonder about the federal government’s delay in crafting its plans, though clear answers have not been forthcoming. Meanwhile, some market forecasts now call for gloomy results as inexperienced farmers fail to convert anything close to 100% of their permitted acreage to sales in the market.

United States farmers’ crop insurance is handled by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), a wholly owned government corporation managed by the Risk Management Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). While the FCIC is responsible for oversight, private companies are contracted by the FCIC to individually administer the program.

Foundational policies are based on a given farm’s Actual Production History (AHP), a formula based on average yield and crop prices to protect against yield losses. Growers select a level of …

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