USDA Reminds Producers Who Received ‘Top-up Payments’ about Premium Payment Deadlines

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is reminding producers who received a prevented planting “top-up” payment last fall that they are required to purchase Federal crop insurance for the next two crop years. The deadlines (Sales Closing Dates) to purchase these crop insurance policies are January 31, February 15, February 28, and March 15, 2020, depending on a producer’s policy.

“We encourage crop insurance agents to help us spread the word to their customers,” said RMA Administrator Martin Barbre. “We want to make sure producers pay their premiums on time, so they don’t become ineligible to buy crop insurance.”

Producers who have trouble making their premium payment should contact their crop insurance agent to set up a written payment agreement to avoid being made ineligible to purchase Federal crop insurance and having to pay back the “top-up” payment.

Producers who had a payable prevented planting indemnity related to flooding, excess moisture or causes other than drought in 2019 automatically received a “top-up” payment from their Approved Insurance Providers in fall 2019. As of January 20, RMA has paid roughly $4.29 billion in claims related to prevented planting for the 2019 crop year, and $4 billion of those total prevented planting claims were associated with flood and excess moisture causes of loss.

RMA also reminds producers to pay their crop insurance premium by January 31. To help farmers and ranchers affected by extreme weather last year, USDA deferred accrual of interest for 2019 crop year insurance premiums from September 30, 2019, to January 31, 2020. For producers who fail to meet the deadline, interest – calculated from the date of the first premium billing notice – will attach on February 1.

For more information on the two-year Crop Insurance Purchasing Requirement, see RMA’s Prevented Planting Disaster Payments FAQs.

Source: RMA Press Release