(AP) The federal government plans to reward farmers who use crop insurance and demonstrate good management practices that limit their losses.

The awards under the Good Performance Refund program will average about $1,000 per eligible farmer, and payments will go out in the first quarter. The program will cost about $75 million, but the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation says the benefits will outweigh the costs by promoting sound farming practices that reduce losses and encouraging producers to keep using crop insurance.

Regulations for the program were published in the Federal Register on Thursday. The public comment period runs 15 days.

To be eligible, farmers must have been in the crop insurance program at the "buy-up" level for varying numbers of years with no more than one year with a reported loss. Certain new and beginning producers are also eligible.

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Source: AP