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CENTER PROJECTS - ACIC - CONSERVATION CROP INSURANCE

Project Period:

3 years 1998-02-01 - 2001-02-01

Principal Investigator:

Jim Cubie, Brian Brandt and Jim Quinton, AFT ACIC

Description
This project was designed to reduce the impacts of farming on the environment by lowering the use of nutrients and high risk pesticides and supporting intensive grazing. To accomplish this, ACIC pledged to design targeted risk insurance policies to help farmers adopt better management practices and establish a Conservation Innovation Risk Fund. The CIRF, supported by USDA's Risk Management Agency, would provide a $5 million stop loss policy to support these policies. Instead, a private insurance company stepped forward to provide the same service more quickly. Unfortunately, the company suffered financial problems and withdrew late in 1999. As a result, ACIC approached other insurance companies, explored offering policies as warranties, initiated two pilot projects, explored establishing a new company to offer conservation insurance and returned to USDA to use the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to offer the policies.

Outcomes
ACIC fully rated and developed a manure crediting policy that covers phosphorus as well as nitrogen (nutrient sufficiency policy); a insurance policy that protects against the failure of a recommendation to reduce phosphorus; a policy that will protect farmers who follow standard nitrogen best management practices; a policy that protects farmers who use a post emergent weed management strategy to reduce atrazine use; and a policy that protects intensive grass-based grazers from the risk of drought harming their operations. They also completed an application to the USDA RMA to offer a nutrient sufficiency policy and persuaded Wisconsin to subsidize the delivery of nutrient sufficiency policies.

American Farmland Trust