The U.S. Department of Agriculture has expanded its pilot Multi-Peril Crop Insurance plan for the hemp industry into new states and counties and announced improvements to the insurance.
Under the new rules, broker contracts are permitted for hemp grain and the agency adjusted several dates related to the insurance – such as cancellation, product reporting and termination, billing, and sales closing – to better match dates used for similar crop insurance programs.
The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) said it is also “authorizing additional flexibilities due to the coronavirus pandemic while continuing to support producers, working through Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) to deliver services, including processing policies, claims, and agreements.”
RMA Administrator Martin Barbre said in a statement that the changes are the agency “responding” to the hemp industry’s “risk management needs.”
Hemp producers in Arkansas, Nevada, Texas, and select counties in Arizona are now eligible for the insurance, along with the Colorado counties of Conejos, La Plata, Moffat, Routt; San Miguel, Kenton and Whitley counties in Kentucky; New Mexico’s San Miguel and Valencia counties; Houghton County, Michigan; Granite County, Montana; Scott County, Tennessee; and Alleghany County, Virginia.
Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private insurance agents, the USDA said. A list of insurance agents is available online using the RMA Agent Locator.
The USDA added the hemp pilot program to its agriculture insurance regime in February.