Apiculture Insurance Programs
The USDA is currently piloting two Apiculture insurance programs in various states across the nation. The two programs are the Apiculture Rainfall Index Program and the Apiculture Vegetation Index Program. Knowing that a lack of precipitation and forage growing conditions many times correlates to a reduction in honey production, the USDA is offering these programs which cover a decline in precipitation and forage growth.
Many beekeepers have implemented various risk management techniques to help alleviate some of the effects of drought; however, the beekeeping industry historically has not been able to participate in heavily subsidized federal crop insurance programs. The following map depicts the USDA pilot areas.
While the program is new and in pilot, you can take advantage of the available government subsidies and implement a solid risk management tool to help offset some of the effects of drought.
Education is the key.
Rainfall Index Program
- Only covers a decline in area precipitation
- Rainfall recorded by NOAA
Vegetation Index Program
- Covers a decline in forage growth
- NDVI data recorded by EROS
- Easy to understand
- USDA pays over half of the premiums
- Qualifying colonies = honey, pollination, and breeding
- Ability to only insure periods of the year that matter to your production
- No insurance adjustments needed
- Premiums not due until next July
- Historical production records not needed
- Provides more coverage than FSA-NAP
- Coverage Levels = 90, 85, 80, 75, 70%
- Select county values (PF) = 60 – 150%
- Do not have to insure all colonies
- 2012 sign-up for both programs is September 30th
The following is a graphical illustration of how this program would have performed for one of our contacts in the Billings, Montana area. The example depicts a 3,000 colony apiary (90% CL and 150% PF). As you can see, if the beekeeper had participated in the program for the past ten years, he would have received payments greater than he paid in premium in 7 of the last 10 years!
While premium rates, prices, and histories vary in every area and region, it is important to remember that the example illustrated is based on a typical operation near Billings, Montana.
It is important to remember that actual results each year vary. But on average for this specific operation, the program would have paid over $2.14 for every $1.00 the producer paid in premium (at the 70% and 75% coverage levels - and assuming 60+ years of participation). The reason this ratio exists is as a result of the government subsidy on premiums.
Broken Arrow Crop Insurance can run these same types of scenarios for your beekeeping operation. These scenarios will increase your knowledge of the program and how it relates to your operation; thereby, maximizing the effectiveness of the risk management tool for your apiary.
We know that this program may not be for everyone, but we thought you should know about its existence. This program is sold via private insurance companies (not FSA).