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USDA announces plans to insure pasture and forage crops

Plans are under way by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency to develop an insurance program for pasture, rangeland and forage crops. Providing risk-management tools for this type of farmland to farmers and ranchers is important as grassland and forage crop land make up about 55 percent of all agricultural acreage in the United States.

The Risk Management Agency (RMA) has awarded four contracts to develop new risk management tools for pasture, rangeland and forage. The four RMA contracts are national in scope. One of the contracts is the Temperature Constrained NDVI Index, awarded to Grazingland Management Systems located in Texas. NDVI stands for Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and utilizes data derived from satellite-based remote sensing imagery that will describe the seasonal growth dynamics of vegetation for target areas. The final approved products are planned for either 2006 or 2007 crop year implementation.