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Specialty Crops Growth Shows Need for Expanded Risk Management Tools

Specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables and nuts, make up almost one-third of total crop sales in the United States, but many specialty crop acres remain uninsured.

American Farm Bureau Federation economists recently examined specialty crop coverage. The Market Intel report found that more than 80 percent of the acreage of hazelnuts, kiwifruit, strawberries and lettuce remain uncovered through the Federal Crop Insurance Program or Noninsured Crop Disaster Program. Meanwhile, more than 50 percent of walnut, pecan, peach, squash, sweet corn, watermelon, pumpkin, cucumber and pepper acreage lacks coverage.

Since 2000, risk management participation has increased in most specialty crop categories. AFBF has made expanding insured commodities to include specialty crops one of its priorities for the 2023 farm bill.

Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says, “The 2023 farm bill should recognize those differences and offer programs that provide the same protections regardless of what a farmer chooses to grow.”

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