November 14, 2022

Business Tips and Tools

Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage Insurance Policy – Winter Precipitation Affecting a Summer Crop?

By: Daniele Harris


Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage (PRF) is a highly subsidized risk management plan geared toward hay producers or those producing hay for grass fed cattle. PRF insures against a single peril incident; defined as a deviation below historical precipitation on an all-area basis referred to as “grids.”

Production is not taken into consideration for PRF coverage. This policy strictly covers the amount of precipitation that fell during the selected interval.

Many in the Northeast ask, “Why would the snowfall in the winter months impact hay production? The answer being that snowfall creates the water table for the following growing season. If there is less snowfall than the past 50+ years’ average, there will be less water, and your PRF policy could pay you an indemnity. That indemnity will make up for the less than desirable water table needed for proper haying or grazing production.

You must take at least one mechanical cutting off intended hay acres in order to have hay listed on your policy, but you can take as many cuttings as production allows. If you have grazing land listed on your PRF policy, you must show insurable share or proof of livestock upon request. This can be showing purchase paperwork, feed receipts, vet bills, etc.

Time of year

The calendar year is divided into two-month intervals. When signing up for a PRF policy, you select which intervals impact your hay or grazing production the most. You can personalize your intervals, but there is a minimum weighted value of 10% per interval and a minimum of two intervals per calendar year in order to continue the policy.  Your local Crop Growers agent has several historical data driven tools available to help you choose which interval would be right for your operation.

Calendar months listed in pairs in successive order


Indemnities are calculated using the roughly 17x17-mile grid your intended haying or grazing land is located in. Each grid has its own county base value per acre of haying or grazing acres. At the end of your interval, National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center calculates the actual rainfall within your designated grid. If there is a loss below your selected deviation percentage, your indemnity is multiplied by the county base value to calculate your monetary loss.

The deadline to sign up for PRF for the 2023 crop year is December 1, 2022. This is not a drought policy. PRF is strictly a lack of precipitation policy. There is not an excess precipitation policy at this time.

Reach out to a Crop Growers agent to sign up or for more information.

Crop Growers: Your first choice for crop insurance.

Tags: crop insurance, risk management

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