North Dakota barley group receives award for work in insurance changes
FARGO -- The North Dakota Barley Council is getting national kudos for its leadership in overhauling crop insurance for malting barley. For the first time, a Malting Barley Revenue Endorsement will be available in 2016. "It has taken a number of ...
FARGO -- The North Dakota Barley Council is getting national kudos for its leadership in overhauling crop insurance for malting barley. For the first time, a Malting Barley Revenue Endorsement will be available in 2016.
"It has taken a number of years from the initial conception to final approval (by) the [U.S. Department of Agriculture] Risk Management Agency, but well worth the wait," says Scott Brown, a commissioner with the Idaho Barley Commission.
Brown presented the Idaho Barley All-Star Award to the NDBC at the annual summer meeting of the National Barley Growers Association this summer in Chicago. The award has been given out only five times in 29 years.
"What started out as an alternative pilot program for North Dakota growers has expanded to a comprehensive insurance product for all producers in the U.S. that can currently insure barley for malting quality," Brown says.
NDBC Chairman Doyle Lentz of Rolla and NDBC Administrator Steve Edwardson accepted the award.
The NDBC worked with Watts and Associates of Billings, Mont., to develop the program, which includes insurance for optional unit or whole farms, and allows new producers to insure their crops. Lentz says the NDBC initially put $50,000 and significant staff time into developing the policy.
In the past, if a farmer who wanted malting barley insurance, the farmer would have needed experience growing it, and had to have actually sold barley for malting. Now, if a farmer has a contract with a legitimate buying company -- an elevator or major malting company -- the farmer can get insurance, as long as the contracts specify accepted malting standards.
Lentz says farmers who raise barley for feed use can still purchase affordable crop insurance specifically for that purpose.
In the past few years, with better fungicide management, 90 percent of the barley grown in North Dakota and western Minnesota is for malt, and about 90 percent of that is accepted for malt, Lentz says.
Nationwide, the acceptance rate is 80 percent. Less barley is grown in South Dakota but the crop there is considered similar to North Dakota's. Montana has significant production, but the state's dry conditions can cause quality issues that affect acceptability for malting.