Farmers and landowners have until March 15 to buy crop insurance or risk losing benefits from federal price supports, loans and other farm programs.
The deadline is confusing because farmers can sign up for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s wheat and feed program through April 28.
“But without crop insurance coverage, you wouldn’t get any benefits,” said Randy Primmer, Spokane County executive for the Farm Service Agency, which manages the farm programs.
Crop insurance was changed last year to restrain congressional spending on crop losses and make growers rely more on insurance.
Under those reforms, producers of insurable crops pay $50 per crop per county each year for a basic catastrophic policy. The insurance covers half the average crop at 60 percent of the crop’s market value. Farmers can buy additional coverage if needed.