A proposed change would add Brahman cattle to the “insurable” list for risk protection.

USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) was mandated under the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000 to initiate pilot programs offering insurance guaranteeing a minimum price for feeder and fed cattle (See July issue of BEEF, “Price Insurance,” page 32 or visit our magazine archives at www.beef-mag.com). RMA's Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) offers coverage based on expected cash prices at the policy end date. Coverage levels range from 70-95% of the expected ending value. The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation subsidizes 13% of the producer's gross feeder and fed cattle premiums.

Feeder cattle refers to steers that will weigh 650-900 lbs. at the end of the insurance period. Heifers, and dairy or Brahman steers, are not eligible.

Following responses from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the American Brahma Breeders Association, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) board of directors voted on Aug. 1 to send some LRP program revisions to outside expert reviewers.

The details of these revisions are still confidential under law but it appears there will be changes to the “insurable” definitions that will include cattle of predominantly Brahma breeding (and dairy breeding and heifers).

USDA is reportedly “very optimistic” that the proposed definition changes will be included in RMA's final rules. But even if they are approved by FCIC, they won't become effective for several months (possibly after Jan. 1) due to the administrative process.