By: David Marrison, Field Specialist- Farm Management, OSU Extension
On August 29, 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it is expanding crop insurance options for grape producers through a new Grapevine Insurance Program. This program will provide coverage for the loss of grafted vines from natural perils such as freeze, hail, flood, and fire. Producers in select counties from the states of: Ohio, California, Idaho, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington are eligible to purchase coverage for the 2024 crop year. The deadline for signing up for insurance is November 1, 2023.
Details on New Grapevine Insurance
On August 18, 2022, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board of Directors approved the Grapevine Crop Insurance Program under section 508(h) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act. This program was established to complement the existing Grape Crop Insurance Program which provides insurance coverage for fruit growing on the vine.
Marcia Bunger, Administrator for the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) stated, “A program like this is especially critical when you realize the loss of fruit can affect a grower for a season, but the loss of a grapevine is a much more costly situation, both in money and the time it takes to reestablish a productive vine. This is one of the strongest reasons producers were requesting coverage possibilities like this Grapevine insurance program.”
The Grapevine insurance program is based on the Tree Based Dollar Amount of Insurance (TDO) Plan. Coverage will be offered for grafted vines only with coverage levels between 50 and 75 percent. No partial damage losses will be considered. Additional optional catastrophic (CAT) coverage or occurrence loss option (OLO) are available for producers to purchase to cover smaller losses.
Some specifics of the grapevine insurance program include:
- Insurance is classified as a “mortality policy” which pays losses when the vine is dead or so badly damaged it will not recover in the following 12 months.
- Vines are grouped into one of three growth stages to determine vine reference price (VRP).
- The dollar amount of protection is based on number of insurable vines in each growth stage block multiplied by the vine reference price and price percentage elected.
- Producers will select one coverage level, ranging from 50 to 75 percent and one percentage of price election up to 100 percent of the vine reference price for each type insured. Higher coverage levels are subsidized at lower rates and the premium subsidy is at least 55 percent of the premium. Premium and administrative fees are due annually.
- Insurance must be purchased on or before November 1. Coverage will begin on December 1 of each crop year and continue to November 30 of the following year.
- Insurance coverage will automatically renew for the subsequent crop year unless you cancel coverage by the November 1 cancellation date.
- Producers using Freeze Protection practices in their operation that are recognized by industry experts can benefit from lower premium costs.
Where to Purchase Insurance
Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online using the RMA Agent Locator at: www.rma.usda.gov/information-tools/agent-locator
For More Information:
Complete details about the program can be obtained on the Risk Management Agence (RMA) website at www.rma.usda.gov. Resource materials of interest include the Grapevine Crop Provisions (24-0270), grapevine Insurance Standards Handbook (20680U) and the Grapevine Loss Adjustment Standards Handbook (20680L)
More information about this new insurance program can be accessed at: https://www.rma.usda.gov/Fact-Sheets/National-Fact-Sheets/Grapevine