Hortica Works with USDA to Solve Crop Insurance Issue

January 25, 2008 - 07:56

A potential bureaucratic nightmare for nursery crop insurance customers was averted thanks to quick action by Hortica and other industry associations.

Insurance carriers were notified in early December that nurseries that had purchased crop insurance would be required to submit very detailed records, long after the purchase of their policies, to support their reported inventory vales — or face significant penalties for noncompliance. This could potentially have translated into thousands of hours of paperwork for nursery crop insurance customers.

Hortica, with the support of the Society of American Florists (SAF) and the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association (FNGLA), moved to arrange meetings with USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), the agency responsible for administering the federal crop insurance program, which quickly resolved the problem.

The USDA decided that, except for customers who file a claim, detailed data would not be required to support reported inventories for the current crop year. USDA will amend its procedures to require that growers provide inventory when policy is purchased in future years. Hortica, SAF and FNGLA all support the decision.

Detailed software programs are available to help growers comply with this requirement. However, the requirement to retroactively provide detailed evidence of inventories, which all organizations agreed would result in a needless burden on growers, was avoided.

For more information, contact Lin Schmale at lschmale@safnow.org.

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