Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica A. Chittenden

September 02, 2008

Sign Up for Crop Insurance by Sept. 30

Farmers Must Insure Fall-Seeded Crops in Order to be Eligible for 2009 Disaster Assistance on All Cr

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today alerted farmers to a recent change in the new federal Farm Bill that links insuring all crops on farms to future disaster payments. Because of this change, it is imperative that New York farmers sign up all fall-planted crops for crop insurance by September 30, 2008.

"Any New York farmer who wants to be eligible for disaster assistance on any 2009 crops, including corn and soybeans, must have crop insurance coverage on all insurable fall plantings before September 30," the Commissioner said. "This is a new requirement that all farmers must complete to be eligible for federal assistance next year. With the uncertainty of the weather, this change is key as more farmers need to contemplate whether crop insurance and disaster payments are necessary for the viability of their business."

September 30, 2008 is the deadline in New York for winter wheat, barley, and forage production, including hay containing more than 25 percent alfalfa. If producers fail to enroll any of their 2008 fall seeded crops and perennial crops, they will be ineligible for disaster payments on 2009 corn and soybeans planted in the spring of 2009, even if they buy insurance for those crops.

The 2008 Farm Bill created an Agricultural Disaster Trust Fund, of which a major part will finance Supplemental Revenue Assistance (SURE) payments. In order to be eligible for SURE payments, the new Farm Bill requires crop insurance on all insurable crops or Noninsured Assistance Program (NAP) coverage on all uninsurable crops. NAP is available from the USDA Farm Service Agency, while crop insurance is available through private crop insurance agents. The more crop insurance coverage you have, the more your SURE payment will be. The SURE disaster payments can provide a significant amount in addition to crop insurance loss payments.

SURE is effective for the 2008 crop year and runs through the 2011 crop year. SURE will be based on whole farm revenue. It will be triggered by a USDA Secretarial disaster declaration for a county.  Contiguous counties are automatically eligible. Protection is also provided if a producer suffers greater than a 50% production loss.

If you have any questions, contact a crop insurance agent immediately. To find a crop insurance agent, go to


2008 Press Releases