The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now offering crop insurance for sesame producers nationwide. Beginning in the 2024 crop year, the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is expanding the Actual Production History (APH) plan to allow producers to request written agreements anywhere sesame or a similar crop has been grown successfully. RMA is expanding the program in response to requests from sesame producers.

The APH plan is specifically for clean, dry sesame. In the 2023 crop year, producers insured more than 35,000 acres of sesame with more than $9 million in liabilities. The sesame APH plan of insurance is already available in select counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas without a written agreement. Prior to the 2024 crop year, written agreements were limited to specified counties. Producers will now be able to request written agreements anywhere sesame or similar crops such as cotton, wheat, and grain sorghum are successfully grown.

Non-dehiscent sesame resists shattering at maturity, allowing it to be harvested with the same equipment used for wheat. Producers have incorporated sesame into their usual rotation of corn or grain sorghum, wheat, and cotton.

Additionally, RMA is expanding the availability of enterprise units to sesame, giving sesame producers greater options to manage their risk. An enterprise unit allows a producer to insure all acres of the insured crop in the county together, as opposed to other unit structures that separate the acreage for insurance. Enterprise units are attractive to producers due to lower premium rates offered to recognize the lower risk associated with the geographic diversification. In general, the larger the enterprise unit, the lesser the risk, and the greater the enterprise unit discount.

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