Farmers in 11 states who plant a majority of their corn acres using hybrid seeds featuring YieldGard® Plus with Roundup Ready® Corn 2, YieldGard VT Triple® and YieldGard VT Triple PRO™ technology from Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) will have an opportunity to lower their crop insurance premiums in 2009.
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) Board of Directors of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently approved the expansion of a Risk Management Biotechnology Endorsement for the 2009 crop year.
The program is an expansion of the 2008 pilot originally approved as the Biotech Yield Endorsement℠ Program, or BYE℠ Program. The BYE℠ Program, which includes Monsanto triple stack technologies, will continue to be offered as part of the Risk Management Biotechnology Endorsement.
In 2009 the program will be available in the following additional states: Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. These expansion states join the original four pilot states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota.
The program lowers premiums for non-irrigated corn producers who plant qualifying hybrids in the approved states and also includes irrigated acres in Kansas and Nebraska. The cost of a total policy premium during the 2008 BYE℠ pilot program was reduced on average by more than $3 per acre on policies such as Actual Production History, Revenue Assurance, and Crop Production Coverage. Savings with the 2009 pilot are expected to be similar.
"Seed selection is one of the most important investments a corn grower can make," said Tim Hennessy for Monsanto Company. "This program recognizes the reduced annual production risk that comes from using advanced seeds and technologies that have the possibility to increase yields and places that value back in the hands of growers."
To be eligible for the premium discount, farmers must plant at least 75 percent of their corn acres on an insured unit basis including replanted acres to corn hybrids containing YieldGard VT Triple, YieldGard VT Triple PRO, or YieldGard Plus with Roundup Ready Corn 2 technologies. Participation in this program does not replace the importance of growers respecting the EPA-mandated refuge requirements.
BYE℠ is an innovative crop insurance program originally piloted in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota in 2008. Total savings for participating growers is estimated to be nearly $25 million within the pilot geography in 2008.
The FCIC Board of Directors approved the original BYE℠ pilot program on Sept. 12, 2007. The BYE℠ program was co-submitted to the FCIC by Monsanto Company and Western Agricultural Insurance Company – Crop 1.
Additional program details regarding the Risk Management Biotechnology Endorsement are available on the RMA website at http://www.rma.usda.gov.
As one of the originators of the BYE℠ program, Monsanto Company spent more than two years gathering and analyzing thousands of data points from more than three harvest years for the original pilot states. Substantial data was derived from numerous field trials spanning the corn production period and was provided in the original BYE℠ program submission to USDA. This data demonstrated that Monsanto YieldGard triple stack technologies deliver more consistent yields, effectively lowering risk.