USDA announced this spring that military veterans now qualify for the same benefits as beginning farmers and ranchers. These include:
- Waiver of the administrative fee on catastrophic risk protection (CAT) and additional coverage policies.
- Additional premium subsidy of 10 percentage points on insurance plans that feature a standard premium subsidy. (Plans such as livestock gross margin (LGM) for cattle or swine that do not have premium subsidies are not eligible for the additional subsidies.) Note: producers cannot receive both a veteran and beginning farmer and rancher subsidy; 10 percentage points is the limit.
- Use of another person’s production history for the specific acreage transferred to a veteran farmer or rancher previously involved in the decision-making or physical activities of a farm or ranch operation.
- Increase the percent of T-yield used for yield adjustment from 60% to 80% when replacing a low actual yield due to an insured cause of loss.
Who meets the definition of a farmer or rancher veteran?
- A person who served in the active military, naval or air service in the Armed Forces and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable;
- First obtained status as a veteran within the last five years;
- Has not operated a farm or ranch or has operated a farm or ranch for less than five years.
There are restrictions regarding entities:
- A spouse’s veteran farmer and rancher status does not affect qualification.
- Partnerships and corporations cannot be a “veteran”. Instead, members must qualify as individuals. If they include members with a substantial beneficial interest (SBI) who are not veterans, it cannot qualify.
- If the farmer/rancher veteran insures the landlord’s share on the same insurance policy, the veteran cannot qualify.
- Veteran status is continuous and reapplication is not necessary, although the status lapses after five years as a farm/ranch operator or five years after military discharge.
- A farmer/rancher veteran may still qualify as a new producer on a crop/county basis.
- If a producer qualifies as both a veteran and beginning farmer or rancher, he/she chooses one program.
Deadline for application for the 2019 crop is your crop insurance acreage reporting date, which is July 15 in our service area. For subsequent years, it will be the sales closing date.
Contact your FCSAmerica crop insurance officer with any questions or for help with the application today!
Click to view more information on the USDA website.