Hoeven: USDA Announces New SCO Coverage for North Dakota Crops

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) has released additional information on the North Dakota counties eligible for the new Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), available through the federal crop insurance program, for the 2015 crop year. The SCO covers spring and durum wheat, corn and barley for all North Dakota counties and covers soybeans for 33 of the state’s counties.

Hoeven recently sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack urging the timely implementation of SCO for all insurable crops in all counties in order to provide North Dakota farmers with this important risk management tool. Hoeven also advocated for the 2014 farm bill to include SCO as an important crop insurance option designed to strengthen and expand insurance coverage options for producers. In July, Hoeven announced SCO coverage available for spring and durum wheat.

“We worked hard to pass a strong, long-term farm bill, and now we are committed to seeing that this bill is implemented so our producers have the tools they need to run their operations,” Hoeven said. “USDA’s decision to make the Supplemental Coverage Option available for all North Dakota counties producing spring and durum wheat, corn and barely provides another option for our farmers who need to manage market and weather-related risks, and I look forward to further counties being added to this list in the future.”

Through his roles on the farm bill conference committee and the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, Hoeven has worked hard to ensure the 2014 farm bill includes enhanced crop insurance for producers. The farm bill includes a strong safety net for producers and retains current individual crop insurance. In addition, it enhances crop insurance by helping farmers improve their yield history under the current program and by creating a new SCO. The SCO is designed to help strengthen and expand insurance coverage options for producers, enabling them to purchase a supplemental policy beyond their individual farm-based policy.

Hoeven has encouraged RMA to cover all North Dakota counties for all commodities by the 2016 crop year. The agency has already indicated plans to expand SCO coverage for the 2016 crop year to include coverage for additional counties and crops.

Additional details related to SCO for 2015 crops can be found through RMA’s website at www.rma.usda.gov. North Dakota producers are encouraged to contact their crop insurance agents regarding eligibility.