Wheat Producers: 2015 SCO Deadline Sept. 30

Wheat Producers: 2015 SCO Deadline Sept. 30

Sept. 12, 2014

Landowners and tenants with wheat ground who are interested in the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) commodity program and the new insurance Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) need to sign up for the 2015 SCO wheat coverage by Sept. 30.

US map showing SCO coverage for winter and spring wheat
Figure 1. Crop year 2015 Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) availability for wheat. SCO wheat covrage is estimated to be available for over 80% of planted wheat acreage. Winter wheat designations shown here include Spring, Durum, and Khorasan types in counties with a June 30 contract change date. Spring wheat includes Durum and Khorasan types in counties with a Nov. 30 contract change date. (Links to larger version.)

Late this year, or in early 2015, landowners will be able to select which farm bill commodity program to participate in. This commodity program decision could affect one's eligibility for SCO; however, the sign-up deadline for 2015 SCO winter wheat coverage will occur before the commodity program selection.

The PLC commodity program protects farmers when the market-year average price falls below a set level.  The set reference price for wheat is $5.50 per bushel. Payments will be based on program yields and made on 85% of base acres. There is no premium to sign up for the PLC program.

PLC participants also may be eligible for SCO, a county-level insurance program starting in 2015.  Thirty-two counties in Nebraska will have SCO coverage for winter wheat in 2015.  Like all insurance policies, SCO will have a premium, which is subsidized 65% by the federal government. Producers will need to enroll in SCO on a year-by-year basis.

SCO will provide coverage based on the producer's individual crop insurance policy, be it revenue, yield, or revenue protection with harvest price exclusion. For example, a producer who has a 75% revenue insurance policy will have extra county-based revenue coverage extending up to 86% if they purchase SCO coverage. SCO payments in this situation would then be made on county-level revenue shortfalls.
For 2015 only, farmers will be allowed to withdraw acres enrolled in SCO if they decide to enroll in the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) commodity program.  Withdrawal of acres from SCO will be allowed until the wheat insurance acreage reporting date, Nov. 15.

The decisions to be made in the next few months regarding the Farm Bill are very complex.  As soon as the commodity program sign-up is announced, joint UNL Extension and USDA Farm Service Agency meeting dates will be set to inform producers of the rules and options.

For more information about the SCO program, contact your crop insurance agent.

Jessica Johnson
Extension Educator – Ag Economics, Panhandle REC