AMARILLO – In spite of recent rains, livestock producers may be considering adding a layer of protection against drought loss on annual forage crops, and the deadline to sign up for that insurance is approaching, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist.
The Rainfall Index – Annual Forage Insurance plan, referred to as RI-AF, is a risk policy designed to provide livestock producers the ability to buy protection against losses due to a lack of moisture, said DeDe Jones, AgriLife Extension risk management specialist in Amarillo.
The sign-up deadline for RI-AF is July 15 for the fall growing season – Sept. 1, 2014-March 31, 2015, and Dec. 15 for the spring season – March 1-Sept. 30, 2015. All premium payments are due by Aug. 30, 2015.
Jones said RI-AF is similar to Pasture Range and Forage Insurance, or PRF insurance, but the difference lies in the type of commodity covered. PRF covers perennial grasses such as pasture and hay, while RI-AF is strictly for annual forage crops, including but not limited to: winter small grains, such as wheat, oats, rye and triticale, and spring plantings such as sudan, haygrazer and millet.
Under both insurance plans, payment is not determined by individual damages, but rather area losses based on a grid system, she said. A major difference between the two policies is that PRF allows producers to insure only a portion of their acreage, but RI-AF requires coverage on all certified acres not intended for grain production.
Producers must also choose a maximum of threetwo-month intervals per growing season per year, Jones said. Insured acres are then spread between time periods, with no more than 40 percent of the acres placed in any interval.
Coverage levels between 70 and 90 percent are available, she said. Once coverage is selected, the producer chooses a productivity factor between 60 and 150 percent. The productivity factor is a percentage of the established county base value for annual forage. Base value is a standard rate published by the Risk Management Agency for each county.
The Rainfall Index determines RI-AF coverage, Jones said. This model uses National Oceanic and Atmospheric Climate Prediction Center data and a 12-by-12-mile grid system. Indemnities are calculated based on the deviation from normal precipitation within a grid for a specific period selected.