USDA's Agriculture Risk Management Agency will offer an organic price election for four crops during the 2011 production year. Those crops are cotton, corn, soybeans and processing tomatoes. RMA is also eliminating the current 5% surcharge for organic crops insured under ten crop insurance programs. Affected programs are Figs; Florida Citrus Fruit; Florida Fruit Tree; Macadamia Tree; Nursery; Pears; Peppers; Prunes; Texas Citrus Tree; Texas Citrus Fruit. The agency says it will continue to accumulate data that will allow for more precise rating of other organic crops.
Also, RMA released three reports that provide the framework for improvements to crop insurance programs that are available to producers of certified organic crops. The reports compile research into data that support a price election for organic crops. They also provide a comparative analysis of loss experience for organic crops and conventional crops produced in the same counties during the same crop years.
"USDA is working to provide producers of organic crops with improved opportunities and resources," said Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. "We are taking aggressive action to improve delivery of our programs, with impressive results for our customers."