On April 10, 2020, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) issued Managers Bulletin: MGR-20-006.1, which amended MGR-20-006 that allowed approved insurance providers to accept production reports through the earlier of the acreage reporting date or 30 days after the applicable production report deadline for policies insured under the Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions (Basic Provisions) with a production reporting date of March 15, 2020 or later. https://www.rma.usda.gov/en/Policy-and-Procedure/Bulletins-and-Memos/2020/MGR-20-006-1. After issuance of MGR-20-006, RMA identified some area based plans that have production reporting dates after March 15, 2020, which means that production reporting is also impacted by the stay-at-home orders.
RMA states that for any crop year insurance policy with a production reporting date of March 15, 2020, through May 15, 2020, approved insurance providers (AIPs) are authorized to accept production reports through the earlier of the acreage reporting date or 30 calendar days after the applicable production reporting date. The additional time to accept production reports will also apply to any associated option, endorsement, election or request that is required to be elected or have completion deadlines by the production reporting date. RMA also states that AIPs are also allowed additional time to accept the following requests for Category B crops: Regional Office (RO) Determined Yield, Master Yield, and Irrigated Determined Yield for crops with a production reporting date of March 15, 2020, through May 15, 2020. The completed requests can be accepted by the AIP by the earlier of the acreage reporting date or the applicable deadline plus 30 calendar days. For example, a RO Determined Yield request, which must be completed no later than 20 calendar days after the production reporting date, could be accepted by the AIP the earlier of acreage reporting date or 50 days after the applicable production reporting date.
RMA states that producers who do not provide an acceptable production report by the earlier of the acreage reporting date or 30 calendar days after the production reporting date, or do not follow up with a properly signed forms by no later than July 15, 2020, will be considered to have failed to comply with the requirements of section 3(f) of the Basic Provisions. Failure to provide an acceptable production report by the due date may result in assigned yields and ineligibility for optional units.
ANALYSIS – This is a continuation of RMA efforts to provide flexibility in reporting to account for the stay-at-home and social distancing requirements. MGR-20-006.1 simply fills in the gap left by MGR-20-006 since it covers crops with a production reporting date of March 15, 2020 or after that are not insured under the Basic Provisions, such as Margin Protection or the Stacked Income Protection Plan. MGR-20-006.1 extends the flexibility to all crop policies with production reporting dates regardless of the plan of insurance under which they are covered. Given the current situation, RMA’s actions seem reasonable and prudent.
All statements made are opinions of the author and are not intended to provide legal opinions or legal advice.