Maryland farmers who sign up for crop insurance by March 15 will benefit from an additional cost-share incentive announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency.
The boost also applies to farmers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and 12 other states, according to National Crop Insurance Services.
The federal funds will be used to pay 15 percent of the producers' net premium at the 70 percent to 85 percent coverage levels, the Maryland Department of Agriculture said.
Producers buying crop insurance that protects 60-65 percent of their average yields will receive a 10 percent cost-share on their crop insurance, department spokeswoman Sue DuPont said. Those buying insurance to protect 50 percent or 55 percent of their crop yield, will receive a 5 percent cost-share, she said.
In 2004, Maryland farmers spent about $5.5 million on purchasing crop insurance. That's up from 2003, when they spent $3.3 million. The federal government offers a cost-share incentive on crop insurance to lower farmer premiums. Producers in the state received more than $36.7 million in crop insurance indemnities from 2002 to 2004.