The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has implemented the new Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) – one of the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill – to help strengthen and expand insurance coverage options for farmers and ranchers.
The 2014 Farm Bill strengthens and expands crop insurance by providing more risk management options for farmers and ranchers and by making crop insurance more affordable for beginning farmers. SCO, which is administered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) and will begin with the 2015 crop year, helps strengthen the farm safety net and protect producers from yield and market volatility.
“America’s agricultural producers work hard to produce a sufficient amount of safe and nutritious food for the country,” said Secretary Tom Vilsack. “It’s critical that they have crop insurance options to effectively manage risks and ensure that they do not lose everything due to events beyond their control.
“Following the 2014 Farm Bill signing, USDA has made it a priority to ensure the Supplemental Coverage Option was available to help farmers in this upcoming crop year.”
SCO will be available for cotton, corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, spring barley, spring wheat, and winter wheat in selected counties for the 2015 crop year. RMA plans to make SCO more widely available by adding more counties and crops to the program, and those additions will be announced later this summer.
Producers planning to grow winter wheat should contact their crop insurance agents to discuss eligibility in time to sign up for coverage. Information on SCO for 2015 winter and spring wheat is available on the RMA website, including a map of the current coverage areas.
SCO is a county-level policy endorsement designed to supplement an underlying crop insurance policy, and covers a portion of losses not covered by that policy. Producers who elect to participate in Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC), which is offered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), are not eligible for SCO for the crop and farm participating in ARC.
The 2014 Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA is making significant progress in implementing each provision of the legislation.
Source – USDA