USDA has announcement an expansion of its Federal Crop Insurance Corp., which will mean lower rates for farmers planting certain corn hybrids.

That's good news for growers increasingly faced with higher costs on the farm, contends the National Corn Growers Association.

“With so many farm costs going up, and with the excellent quality we are now seeing in corn hybrids, we’re happy to see this pilot program expand,” says Ron Litterer, NCGA president and an Iowa grower. “We’re especially happy to see the way industry has worked together to develop the technology to lower risks on the farm and help us meet all corn needs.”

According to USDA, the Risk Management Biotechnology Endorsement pilot program applies to approved corn seed hybrids containing specific biotech traits that enhance protection against above-ground lepidopteron pests (such as moths and their larvae) and below-ground corn rootworm damage, and confer tolerance to certain herbicides. For the 2009 crop year, three seed technologies will be eligible, in certain states:

  • Monsanto YieldGard Plus with Roundup Ready Corn 2, YieldGard VT Triple, and YieldGard VT Triple PRO hybrids for non-irrigated corn for grain in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Nebraska, in addition to the original pilot states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota, submitted by the Western Agricultural Insurance Company, working with the Monsanto Company. In addition, irrigated corn for grain acreage planted to the qualifying Monsanto hybrids would be eligible for coverage in Kansas and Nebraska.
  • Pioneer and Dow AgroSciences Herculex Xtra and Herculex Xtra RR2 hybrids for non-irrigated corn for grain in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, submitted by Stonington Insurance Company and Agro National, LLC, in conjunction with Dow AgroSciences, LLC, and Pioneer Hi-Bred International.
  • Syngenta Agrisure CB and RW stacked and Agrisure 3000GT hybrids for non-irrigated corn for grain in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, submitted by John Deere Risk Protection, Inc, in conjunction with Syngenta Seeds.

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Source: National Corn Growers Association