Crop insurance for irrigated sorghum gets boost

There’s an enhanced safety net for sorghum producers using irrigation to raise the crop. USDA’s Risk Management Agency has enhanced coverage for irrigated grain sorghum producers. The new grain sorghum coverage is effective Nov. 30, 2022, for the upcoming 2023 crop year.

In announcing the move, RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger nots the agency worked directly with the National Sorghum Producers to better understand their needs and offer the improved coverage. “This newly enhanced coverage will provide a greater level of aid to our nation’s grain sorghum producers,” she says.

RMA developed a modification to the Area Risk Production Insurance program to improve crop insurance options for irrigated grain sorghum producers in select counties in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. This modification was pursuant to the 2018 Farm Bill, which required RMA to research and develop potential improvements to insurance for grain sorghum.

With the modification RMA will allow producers to index grain sorghum indemnities to corn, which will be used as a “proxy” crop. Producers data shows when there is a loss for irrigated corn, there is a high correlation to the loss for irrigated grain sorghum.

According to RMA, grain sorghum rates will be based on irrigated corn trend yields and the grain sorghum yields will be 80% of the irrigated corn yield established for the Supplemental Coverage Option. These indexed values will be used to determine the guarantee. There is no change to the grain sorghum price. This modification will be available for Area Yield Protection, Area Revenue Protection, and Area Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion. If there is not an irrigated corn SCO offer in a county, there will not be an irrigated grain sorghum offer.

Tim Lust, CEO National Sorghum Producers, comments “this expanded coverage for irrigated sorghum producers is the culmination of a decade of work between NSP, Congress and RMA. Improved rates and yields for sorghum produces will offer a greater level of aid and new opportunity for the 2023 growing season.”

Producers are encouraged to visit their crop insurance agent to learn more about the new grain sorghum counties, rates, and yields. A fact sheet and frequently asked questions are available on USDA’s RMA website.

Source: USDA’s Risk Management Agency, National Sorghum Producers

USDA’s Risk Management Agency for the coming 2023 crop year, providing improved support for producers.

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