USDA Strengthens Hemp Insurance Program With New Updates

USDA Strengthens Hemp Insurance Program With New Updates

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has decided to adjust the current crop insurance program for hemp. Following feedback from hemp cultivators across the country, it was an effort to fortify and improve the current policy, as the USDA press release reported. 

Moving forward, the USDA’s Risk Management Agency is adding leniencies around how cultivators work with processors in addition to guidelines to improve consistency regarding current USDA hemp rules and regulations. 

The Risk Management Agency Administrator, Marcia Bunger, expressed that the USDA acknowledges that hemp is a budding crop; therefore, they are “working with hemp producers to provide options that make sense for producers and insurance providers.” 

She also adds that the Risk Management Agency has worked to grow and refine its offerings to be “responsive and dynamic” to these and further adjustments that may have to take place in the coming future. 

One of these revised changes adds flexibility to the insurability requirements for hemp under contract, meaning that producers are no longer required to deliver hemp without economic value for insurability.

However, an agreement between cultivators and processors could still include requirements for delivery. The Risk Management Agency also explains how insurable acreage is determined if the manufacturer contract specifies a plot and production amount. 

The press release adds that the Risk Management Agency made this policy shift to “ensure producers know how their insurable acreage is determined for those contracts.” 

In addition to those changes, the Risk Management Agency added a new requirement for cultivators growing direct-seeded hemp (hemp cultivation from seeds planted in the soil). They added that farmers must have acreage inspected and have a minimum of 1,200 live plants per acre before insurance attaches. 

The press release declares that this requisite will align direct-seeded hemp with the common cultivating practice for transplanted CBD, transplanting around 1,200 plants per acre. The new policy allows Actual Production History coverage against yield loss due to insurable causes of loss of hemp, grown for grain, CBD oil, or fiber. 

The insurance updates follow an impressionable year in hemp cultivation, even though the industry is ever-changing per the Risk Management Agency. 

The USDA earlier this year also approved Colorado’s Hemp program. 

At the top of this year, the USDA released information on its final decree on hemp cultivation to ensure consistency, and the updates went into effect on March 22, 2021. The new regulations consisted of updates on the 0.3 percent THC requirement, noting that less than 1 percent of the product is no longer considered “negligent,” and the immediate disposal of hemp not meeting the standard to include composting, burning, or burial. 

The requisite also added that DEA-registered facilities test hemp after the end of next year, hemp samples collected 30 days after harvest, the allowance of a performance-based sampling approach, and allowing tribes to invoke their jurisdiction on their property. 

These updates will help clear up much of CBD’s gray area and what constitutes being compliant with current laws and requirements. The CBD market is already expanding, with California hoping to entice the global market.

CBD is consumable in various ways such as consuming hemp flowers in pre-rolled cones.

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