Driven by Data: Webinar on the Post Application Coverage Endorsement

10 March 2022
Deborah Atwood

Federal crop insurance is a critical risk management tool for farmers, particularly as climate change increases uncertainty for farming operations. Recent innovations are helping the federal crop insurance program better account for the impacts of conservation practices on agricultural risk. This will help farmers who use crop insurance have more data-driven tools for managing risk and become more resilient to weather-related events. AGree published a paper last summer summarizing the current state of the science on the connection between conservation practices and risk, which can be accessed here.

These innovations include a new crop insurance endorsement recently announced by USDA, the Post-Application Coverage Endorsement (PACE). PACE is designed to provide corn farmers supplemental coverage when they plan on split-applying nitrogen but are prevented from making fertilizer applications due to adverse weather. PACE is the first federally subsidized insurance product to help farmers cover the financial risk associated with implementing a conservation practice.

During last week’s Agri-Pulse webinar, Driven by Data: Innovation in Crop Insurance & Conservation, a panel of experts, including Meridian Institute CEO Todd Barker, discussed the benefits of PACE and the future of crop insurance.

We are very excited about this new option… [it] is a great example of how private industry can help cultivate new ideas in the crop insurance program, especially in underserved areas such as climate-smart ag. It’s scientific, based on data, and it empowers producers to use nutrients more carefully.

– Marcia Bunger, Administrator of the Risk Management Agency

Now that PACE is available on the market, ensuring crop insurance agents and farmers know about PACE is critical to ensure the product is purchased in the select counties across 11 states in which it is available and that the geography where it is offered can be expanded in the future. Megan Dwyer, nutrient loss reduction manager at the Illinois Corn Growers Association, pointed out that PACE meets a widespread need:

Our growers are telling us that the number one reason that they are concerned about split-applying nitrogen, or are maybe hesitant to do so, is that risk of not getting that application made.

– Megan Dwyer, Illinois Corn Growers Association

PACE’s success could help open the door for future data-driven, actuarially sound insurance products that help farmers adopt or maintain risk-reducing conservation practices.

Meridian is building on the excitement around PACE to educate agents and farmers about the details of the product and how it can benefit them. Meridian’s education and marketing efforts will include partnering with private, public, and nonprofit organizations to provide educational opportunities to interested farmers and agents.

We understand just how vital the federal crop insurance program is for farmers, and feel that PACE is a strong addition to the host of insurance options available to producers. If you are interested in learning more about PACE, please visit the PACE website or reach out to your local crop insurance agent.

PACE was developed through a collaborative effort managed by Meridian Institute that included the Illinois Corn Growers Association, National Corn Growers Association, Ag-Analytics Technology Company, the University of Illinois, and others.