The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency announced Dec. 1 changes to its crop insurance policies. Major changes for 2018 focus on conservation compliance certification and choice of unit structure based on the risk management needs of producers, according to a news release.

“Every producer’s situation is unique. At RMA, we want to ensure the policies we provide are flexible enough so that producers are getting the most effective and efficient coverage. Ensuring producers have the right coverage helps to strengthen the farm safety net,” RMA Acting Administrator Heather Manzano said.

To offer producers increased flexibility, RMA has removed the June 1 certification deadline date from the conservation compliance provisions and will instead refer to the premium billing date. This will allow the conservation compliance certification process for crop insurance to be administered more consistently with the way it is administered for other USDA programs, according to the release.

RMA is also streamlining its services by allowing policyholders to select enterprise units for either irrigated or nonirrigated practice. Policyholders may also choose the most appropriate unit structures on the other practice, be it separate enterprise units or optional or basic units. These changes reduce the burden placed on producers and makes crop insurance more accessible.

RMA worked closely with its stakeholders to identify the changes, which were published Nov. 24 in the Federal Register, according to the release.

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