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October 03, 2007   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
October 03, 2007

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The United States Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced Tuesday that it has approved expansion of the Adjusted Gross Revenue-Lite (AGR-Lite) plan of insurance in Alabama, clearing the way for producers in need of insurance protection for adjusted whole farm revenue.

AGR-Lite is a whole-farm revenue protection plan of insurance, which protects against low revenue due to unavoidable natural disasters and market fluctuations. Most farm-raised crops, animals, and animal products are eligible. AGR-Lite can stand alone or be used in conjunction with other federal crop insurance plans except Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR).

In Alabama, producers interested in learning more about AGR-Lite plans should contact a crop insurance agent. Agents may be found by using RMA's agent locator at www3.rma.usda.gov/apps/agents/ or by contacting your local Farm Service Agency office. More information about AGR-Lite can be found by going to www.rma.usda.gov/policies/agr-lite.html where they can find a fact sheet summary.

"Alabama's approval for AGR-Lite is the culmination of a lot of work and cooperation of many people and organizations in the state," said Brian Hardin, director of the Alabama Farmers Federation's Horticulture and Greenhouse Nursery & Sod Divisions. "The desire to provide better risk management opportunities for producers has been a goal of the State Horticulture Committee, and thus began an inquiry into AGR-Lite. As a result, Alabama Farmers Federation began working on approval for AGR-Lite in Alabama."

"We are excited that Alabama producers now have another option to manage their risk, especially in the area of specialty crops where choices have been limited," Hardin added. "Since it is a new product, we all have a lot to learn about AGR-Lite and where it will fit for farmers around the state. Efforts will be made to get information to producers in collaboration with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and other cooperators. Alabama Farmers Federation wants everyone to be aware of AGR-Lite's availability and have an opportunity to evaluate it for his or her operation."

Dr. Jim Novak, Extension economist and professor of agricultural economics at Auburn University, provided the guidance through the process to its completion along with the Western Center for Risk Management Education. Farm management and agricultural enterprise analysis economists with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System coordinated a series of focus group meetings in 2006, where initial risk assessments of commodities were made for each geographic region of the state.

Letters of support for Alabama's application were provided by the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries, Alabama Farmers Federation, Alabama Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association, Alabama Nursery & Landscape Association, Federal Land Bank Association of South Alabama, First South Farm Credit (South Alabama Division), and the State of Alabama Farmers Market Authority.

The RMA's approval for AGR-Lite plans in Alabama, coupled with its approval for Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Colorado and Hawaii, brings to 35 the number of states for the 2008 insurance year.

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