2019 Forage Insurance Deadline Approaching

The deadline for a relatively new (for Mississippi) subsidized forage insurance program is November 15th for the 2019 year. Forage production is a primary source of grazing and hay for livestock producers and forage production is highly dependent on rainfall. The uncertainty of rainfall amount and timing is a risk all forage producers face. To address this risk, producers can use strategies such as forage diversification, improved soil fertility, and strategic grazing management. In addition to these strategies, there is a relatively new insurance product that aims to help forage producers manage rainfall risk.

The Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage (PRF) insurance program provides subsidized insurance protection for perennial forages produced for grazing or harvested for hay in the U.S. The program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA). Payments are triggered only by low precipitation during a specified period of time relative to a chosen coverage level. The program is designed to provide producers the ability to offset replacement feed costs when low precipitation causes reduced forage production. While this program has value to livestock producers who depend on forage production, it is important to note that PRF insurance is not directly linked to actual forage yields or livestock performance.

Research has shown that on average, over time, the benefit of this program is likely to outweigh the costs to the producer. A big reason for that is the 51% to 59% subsidy level. PRF has only been available in Mississippi since 2016. And as shown in the figure above, participation was fairly small in 2017. If you have any questions about it, below are some links for more information or feel free to reach out to me at josh.maples@msstate.edu. You can also view a more detailed publication I wrote on this program by clicking here

Links of Interest 
Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage Home Page

Estimated Premium and Historical Performance Tool

USDA-RMA Agent Locator Tool