Ag Secretary Reminds Nursery Growers to Sign up for Crop Insurance

HARRISBURG – Because nursery growers cannot predict adverse weather, wildlife damage and the marketability of their crop, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff urged those who want to be protected against losses for a full year to sign up for crop insurance coverage by May 1.

Enrollment in new multiple peril crop insurance, or MPCI, policies can be done year-round with a 30-day waiting period before the policy takes effect.

Wolff said producers must be enrolled in a crop insurance policy, or Farm Service Agency’s non-insured crop assistance program, to be eligible to receive federal disaster assistance, if needed, from the 2008 Farm Bill’s Supplemental Revenue program.

“For the first time, most crops, including nursery, must be covered by a crop insurance program in order to be eligible to receive federal disaster payments,” said Wolff. “I urge all Pennsylvania nursery growers to contact a crop insurance agent well before the May 1 deadline to discuss how they can protect their investments from disasters, providing peace-of-mind even in these difficult economic times.”

Nursery insurance protects wholesale nursery production and market plants grown in standard nursery containers or in the field. Coverage is based on a plant inventory value report declaring the value of insurable plants.

This year, multiple peril nursery policies offer several new significantly improved risk management options, including policy endorsements and the option to insure field- or container-grown plants or both.

“With flexible nursery insurance programs that allow growers to match a plan with their business needs, crop insurance can help growers ease the burden of plant damage and remain viable for the next growing season,” said Wolff.

The higher the level of crop insurance, the greater the guarantees will be for policy and disaster protection.

Producers should contact a crop insurance agent well before the May 1 deadline to enroll in new MPCI policies. The deadline to change existing policies is May 31. A list of agents can be found online.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s crop insurance program, call 717-705-9511 or visit here.

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