The most versatile vegetable can sometimes be one of the hardest to grow. 2023 was a wet growing season in the Northeast. As a result, the more than 240 Northeast potato producers growing 63,000 acres of potatoes endured a tough growing season loss. Many Northeast potato farmers use crop insurance to help manage this risk. Below are three endorsements that tailor the USDA RMA potato crop insurance policy for potato operations.
Storage endorsement is the most popular of the potato policy endorsements. Potato insurance ends in October. If a producer did not notice damage (specifically soft rot) while harvesting the potato, but notices rot in November while the potatoes are being stored, this endorsement extends the potato coverage 60 days past the end of insurance. The producer has 60 extra days of insurance to recheck their potatoes to make sure nothing is damaged. This endorsement must be added on the sales closing document to receive the additional storage coverage.
Pre-quality potatoes are already covered for soft rot under a regular Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) policy. Quality adjustments can be added at sales closing to protect for scab, hollow heart, growth cracks, or most anything that prevents it from grading U.S. number 1 or 2.
In order to qualify for the quality endorsement, a grower must have three years of history at a certain quality. Your three-year average of U.S. grade 1 or 2 is now your percent quality standard.
The insured must pay for a licensed, professional grader to grade the potatoes as they go into storage. If the quality is below your three-year average quality percentage, the endorsement will indemnify.
Certified Seed Option Endorsement
This endorsement insures good growing practices and covers potatoes in storage that will be used for spring planting. The producer must qualify for certified seed for three years before this endorsement can be added to the policy at sales closing time.
To qualify the seed potatoes, the producer sends a large sample to Florida for inspection and testing. Once seed stock is certified, if the seed potato does not pass the certification process after harvest, an indemnity will be paid. This endorsement is less common, as there is a high concern of carrying disease over from year to year.
The above endorsements are additions to the underlying MPCI policy tailored to potato growers. Potatoes are a unique crop, so these endorsements reflect its unique growing challenges. Reach out to your local Crop Growers agent for more information.
Owned by Farm Credit East, Crop Growers has developed risk management plans for northeast farmers for more than 20 years. To learn more about the crops insured and various crop insurance policies available to help Northeast producers manage risk, click here.
Crop Growers is an equal opportunity provider.