NAU Country received the following notification from the USDA.
Subject: Administrator's Message: The Importance of Following Good Farming Practices
All crop insurance policies issued by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) require producers to follow good farming practices. But what are good farming practices, and why should producers follow them?
Good farming practices are the production methods used by a farmer to produce an FCIC-insured crop, to allow it to make normal progress toward maturity, and to produce at least the yield amount that was used to determine the production guarantee or amount of insurance when the crop insurance policy was purchased. Good farming practices are also those that are generally recognized by agricultural experts as appropriate for your area.
Producers should be following good farming practices throughout the farming process. Before planting, this would include choosing the right variety of plants to get a good crop with a high yield and a good market price, planning appropriate field activities, and preparing the field for planting, including proper fertilization. During planting, these include the methods of planting chosen for best results; and after planting, during the growth period, these are practices such as watering, fertilizing, and weeding. Finally, during harvest, it’s applying efficient harvesting methods to maximize crop yield and minimize damage.
Crops grown under federal crop insurance policies are required to follow good farming practices as defined in the Basic Provisions (20-BR). This ensures that a policyholder’s production methods do not adversely affect the quantity and/or quality of the crop produced and harvested. This is any practice that could affect the amount and quality of the crop, from ground preparation through harvest.
Failure to follow the agricultural expert-recognized good farming practices for your insured crop will not allow for the financial risk protection you may need and may lead to a denial of your crop insurance claim should you file one. I know that budgets are tight and input costs can be high, but please do not put yourselves at risk.
If you have any questions about what practices are considered “good farming practices,” or about your policy, please talk to your crop insurance agent. A list of agents is available online using RMA’s Agent Locator.
Martin Barbre is the Administrator for USDA’s Risk Management Agency. He has served as President of the National Corn Growers Association, a member of USDA’s Illinois Farm Service Agency State Committee, and is a long-time farmer from Carmi, Illinois.
This notification was sent to NAU Country Agents on May 18, 2020. If you have any additional questions, please contact your NAU Country Marketing Representative.