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Protect Your Business from Unusually Low Rainfall


Annual Forage insurance provides coverage on your annually planted acreage or grazing crops, used as feed or fodder by livestock, in a defined grid and protects against lack of rainfall. Crops typically covered include those grown for use in grazing, haying, and silage. The program utilizes the NOAA Rainfall Index to measure the normal precipitation deviation that occurs in and around the insured area. It does not measure the individual producer’s annual forage production or loss of products themselves. Let us help you with this specialized coverage. Our experienced advisors will answer your questions and ensure you have the appropriate coverage to protect your crops and your business.

The Rainfall Index (RI) is based on weather data collected and maintained by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center. The index reflects how much precipitation is received relative to the long-term average for a specified area and timeframe.

Annual Forage Insurance is available to producers in:

  • Colorado
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Texas


How does Annual Forage Insurance work?

As mentioned above, the Annual Forage Insurance program utilizes a rainfall index to determine precipitation for coverage purposes and does not measure production or loss of products themselves. To dive down further, the Rainfall Index uses data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center (NOAA). Using a grid system, the NOAA determines precipitation amounts within a particular area. Each grid is 0.25 degrees in latitude by 0.25 degrees in longitude and acres are assigned to one or more grids based on the location of the acreage to be insured. Your insurance coverage is based on the precipitation experience of the entire grid. It is not based on individual farms, ranches, or specific weather stations in the general area. When the final rainfall index falls below your “trigger grid index,” you may receive an indemnity.

Who is eligible for Annual Forage Insurance?

The Annual Forage Insurance Program is currently available to producers in all counties in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas.

Can I choose which acres to insure?

Starting with the 2024 copy year, the Annual Forage Program provides more flexibility by allowing producers to choose the areas which they insure, rather than being required to insure all eligible acres.

What does Annual Forage insurance cover?

Annual Forage insurance utilizes the Rainfall Index to determine claims eligibility, and as such, only covers a decline from the long-term historical normal interpolated precipitation for a covered grid and index interval. Annual Forage insurance does not cover other exposures such as hail, flood, fire, or production.

Does Annual Forage insurance cover my crops?

Using the Rainfall Index, Annual Forage insurance pays claims earned by eligible insureds only when the final grid index is less than the trigger grid index. The actual amount of production of your crops is not considered when determining eligibility for a claim payment. Interestingly, because the Rainfall Index plan is an area plan and does not measure, capture, or utilize any actual crop production, it is possible for you to have a loss in production but not receive a payment. Likewise, it is also possible for you to receive a payment without suffering a loss of actual production.

Is Annual Forage insurance drought insurance?

No, Annual Forage insurance, and thereby the Rainfall Index program, is not “drought insurance.” While a drought may cause a decline in the index value to the point that an indemnity payment is issued to eligible insured producers, a drought being declared in a state, county or area does not, by itself, trigger an indemnity payment under the program.

What is an index interval?

Index intervals are 2-month periods during the growing season of the insured crop. It is inside this 2-month period that the rainfall index applies. Typically, a producer will choose 2 or 3 index intervals for each qualifying crop grown. They will apply a percentage of the planted acres to each of the index intervals.


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