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New farm insurance set to roll out

Happy Hill drives a tractor while baling hay southeast of Durango near Colorado Highway 172. Two meetings on insurance available through the Farm Service Agency are coming up for local farmers.

New farm insurance programs put in place by the 2014 Farm Bill are replacing widely used plans.

About 90 percent of the eligible farmers in Montezuma, Dolores and San Juan counties participated in the direct and counter-cyclical programs that have ended.

Instead, agricultural risk coverage and price-loss coverage programs are being rolled out to serve those raising wheat, barley, oats and corn. The specifics will be fully explained at the upcoming meetings.

Corn will likely be eligible for insurance payments this year, because prices fell from a national high around $12 per bushel to about $4 per bushel, said Paul White, the county executive director.

For those raising alfalfa, the non-insurable assistance program has been expanded so that producers can purchase insurance to cover up as little as a 35 percent loss in yield.

At the public meetings, Colorado State University’s agricultural and business management economists will be presenting, along with the Farm Service Agency County directors.

The Cortez meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Dec. 16 at the Lewis-Arriola Community Center. The Durango meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Dec. 17 at the La Plata County Extension Office.

No reservations are needed to attend the meeting.


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