WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced publication of a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend the Apple Crop Provisions. The proposed changes are based on stakeholder feedback and recommended changes from a contracted study on the apple crop insurance program. Following feedback from the proposed rule, USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) will publish a final rule that is expected to be effective for the 2023 crop year.
“It is vital that we hear from the producers and public about possible updates to our policies and products,” said Marcia Bunger, RMA Administrator. “Information from apples producers will help us create a more effective and beneficial service to America’s agricultural community.”
RMA is proposing to make changes to the apple crop insurance program that:
- Enable producers to elect different coverage levels and percent of price elections by type, which allows producers to manage individual coverage and price risk more effectively.
- Allow producers’ premiums to be reduced in response to orchard management practices, such as removing or grafting trees, that typically occur after the acreage reporting date and decrease an orchard’s productivity.
- Allow producers to insure at a higher price for apples sold predominantly to direct markets or premium processing markets.
- Exclude apples sold for the slicer market from being considered “fresh apple production.”
- Introduce a fresh fruit factor to account for the reduced market value of production insured under the Quality Option sold for a grade other than U.S. Fancy.
RMA is soliciting comments on these proposed changes. The comment period will close on Feb. 14, 2022.
Interested parties can submit comments via the Federal Register.