*** NEWS RELEASE***
WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2023 – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing a new crop insurance program designed for agricultural producers who use controlled environments in their operations. The new Controlled Environment program from USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is specifically for plants grown in fully enclosed controlled environments and provides coverage against plant diseases subject to destruction orders. Available beginning in the 2024 crop year, the Controlled Environment program provides a risk management resource for urban, specialty crop, and organic producers who often use controlled environments as a major part of their operations.
“We are always looking to improve and expand the crop insurance resources we offer to agricultural producers, and the new Controlled Environment program will greatly benefit urban, specialty crop, organic and other producers who grow in controlled environments,” said RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger. “Controlled environment agriculture is a quickly growing sector in the Nation’s food production, and this new option is part of USDA’s broader effort to support urban agriculture and new and better markets for American producers.”
The Controlled Environment program is a dollar plan of insurance, which bases the insured’s guarantee on inventory values reported by the producer, and provides coverage against plant diseases when the plants must be destroyed under a federal or state destruction order.
The Controlled Environment program adds to two other federal insurance products available to nursery and innovative agricultural producers by providing benefits that are not available under the other programs, such as:
- Offer coverage for all Controlled Environment plants, including cuttings, seedlings, and tissue culture.
- Offer crop insurance coverage through a streamlined application and policy renewal process.
- Offer new crop insurance coverage specific to the disease risk to plants in Controlled Environment operations.
- Offer insurance for producer-selected plant categories for Controlled Environment that are not in other nursery insurance program.
- Allow Controlled Environment operations to have single peril Controlled Environment insurance to be purchased as a standalone policy or in conjunction with other nursery insurance.
The first sales closing date is Dec. 1, 2023.
The Controlled Environment program will be available in select counties in Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.