US: Crop insurance listening sessions coming up

The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation offers a “nursery policy” in all 50 states. However, the nursery crop insurance system has always been complicated and, well, at least a little dysfunctional. Over the years, several industry leaders testified before Congress on problems with the program, yet little if anything has changed for the better.

There’s a new window for driving meaningful change. The USDA’s Risk Management Agency recently awarded a contract to an outside contractor to conduct research to obtain information for a proposed new alternative nursery insurance program referred to as Nursery Value Select and to identify issues related to the proposed program. The selected contractor, Watts and Associates, Inc., has initiated a targeted study to evaluate the efficacy of the new concept and gather stakeholder input.

As part of the required gathering of stakeholder input, Watts is hosting a total of nine stakeholder input meetings beginning June 20 and ending August 3. Listening sessions are being held in Texas, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon, and California.

Growers are encouraged to attend these sessions. If you plan to do so, feel free to contact Craig Regelbrugge for a bit of background on what AmericanHort have been working on to recommend along with the Florida Nursery, Grower, and Landscape Association and several other state partner associations. Growers who are unable to attend one of these sessions may submit comments to Dr. Alan Baquet, Watts & Associates.

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