2020 Wild Blueberry Crop Insurance Deadline Approaching

November 20, 2019 is the sales closing date for blueberry crop insurance

The deadline to enroll, cancel, or modify an existing blueberry crop insurance policy is November 20, 2019 for the 2020 crop year.  Blueberry crop insurance protects a producer’s average crop yields from weather-related issues causing yield loss such as excessive moisture resulting in bad pollination, cold springs, drought, etc. Producers can choose to insure their blueberry crop at a catastrophic level (CAT) which protects 50% of their crop yield and pays at 55% of the price election at a loss; or, at higher coverage levels called “buy-up” which protects 50 to 75% of their average yield at 100% of the price election. The 2020 price elections are $0.50 per lb. ($0.28 for CAT) and $1.43 per lb. ($0.79 for CAT) for conventional and organic blueberries, respectively. Price elections are set by the USDA Risk Management Agency and are based on National Agricultural Service Statistic (NASS) prices from prior years.

Important Change to Catastrophic Level Coverage

One big change that occurred through the 2018 Farm Bill is that the administrative fee for CAT level coverage increased from $300 to $655 per crop per county.  This price increase means that producers should speak with their crop insurance agent prior to November 20th about an updated premium quote because under some circumstances it may be more cost effective to purchase buy-up coverage than CAT.

A perspective from the field

Visit the UMaine Crop Insurance Education website to view a short video about crop insurance on Sunkhaze Wild Blueberry Farm.

Blueberry Crates at Sunkhaze Wild Blueberry Farm
Sunkhaze Wild Blueberry Farm, 2017

Crop Insurance agents serving Maine can be found by using the Agent Locator tool at prodwebnlb.rma.usda.gov/apps/AgentLocator/#/. For questions contact Crop Insurance Education Program Manager, Erin Roche, 207.949.2490 or erin.roche@maine.edu.