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Published June 21, 2009, 12:00 AM

North Dakota wants to change agriculture insurance

BISMARCK – North Dakota’s top agriculture official is asking the federal government to consider adding another wrinkle to a new insurance program that pays ranchers based on rainfall or the greenness of their pastures.

By: Blake Nicholson, Associated Press, INFORUM

BISMARCK – North Dakota’s top agriculture official is asking the federal government to consider adding another wrinkle to a new insurance program that pays ranchers based on rainfall or the greenness of their pastures.

The Risk Management Agency, which oversees crop insurance, already has made radical changes to the fledgling program across the country, and says it will at least consider Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring’s request to give North Dakota producers more options for insuring hay and rangeland.

“We want to get this right for the long term,” said Tim Hoffmann, RMA’s director of product administration and standards.

The Pasture, Rangeland and Forage Insurance Pilot Program began in 2007 at the urging of Congress as a way to give ranchers a way to protect against risk. Livestock producers traditionally have not been able to get crop insurance because unlike grain, pastures and forage cannot be measured in such terms as bushels.

Pasture, Rangeland and Forage data

Pasture, Rangeland and Forage Insurance Pilot Program data for North Dakota in the first two years.

Year is followed by policies, number of policies that paid out, total premiums and total payout. The federal government subsidizes a little more than half of the premium costs.

  • 2007, 817, 725, $2.8 million, $2.7 million
  • 2008, 885, 756, $3.2 million, $2 million.

Source: Risk Management Agency


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