Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics, November 1, 2017,


Copyright 2017 University of Nebraska.


Since the passage of the 1994 Crop Insurance Reform Act, the federal crop insurance program has grown in both size and scope. The program progressed from generating under $1 billion in premiums in 1994 to generating nearly $9.3 billion in 2016 (USDA-RMA 1994, 2016b). In 2007, the federal crop insurance program introduced the Rainfall Index (RI) and Vegetation Index (VI) Insurance Pilot Program for Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage (PRF) in selected states. In 2016, RI-PRF replaced VI-PRF and was made available in all 48 contiguous states enrolling 28,538 policies and providing over a billion dollars in coverage on more than 52.3 million acres (USDA-RMA 2016b). However, insured acreage represents only about 8% of the total 649.5 million acres of pasture and hay land. This small percent of coverage contrasts greatly to corn, where 87% of acres were insured in 2016 (USDA -RMA 2016c).