Deadlines nearing for two programs to help beekeepers manage risk in 2019

By: Lindsey New, Pulaski/McCreary Co. FSA Office

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers yield protection for honey producers through its Noninsurable Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP). NAP is like crop insurance for honey yield, said Lindsey New, executive director, of the FSA Pulaski/McCreary County office. It is designed to reduce financial losses that occur when eligible natural disasters cause a loss of honey production.

Basic NAP coverage offers 50 percent yield protection. A $250 fee (per county) applies to cover honey in the NAP program, but the fee can be waived for Socially Disadvantaged, Beginning, or Limited Resource producers, New said. Deadline is Nov. 20 to enroll for 2019 coverage.

Kentucky beekeepers should annually report their number of honey bee colonies to the local FSA office on form FSA-578. This is a very important step to ensure eligibility for participation in FSA programs. You must report your number of colonies by Jan. 2 if you enrolled in NAP for the current year or if you want to be eligible for ELAP in case of an eligible disaster-related loss. Report within 30 days of the date colonies of bees are acquired, brought into, or removed from the county.

Find your local FSA office at

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USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) now offers Apiculture Rainfall Index policies through insurance agents. State deadline to enroll is Nov. 15.

RMA says on their Apiculture Crop Policy website, “The United States currently produces about 163 million pounds of honey each year. The insurance programs utilize various indexing systems to assess plant growth and vigor, which correlates to honey production.

Rainfall Index (RI) is based on weather data collected and maintained by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. The index reflects how much precipitation is received relative to the long-term average for a specified area and timeframe.”

For more information regarding this program, contact a qualified crop insurance agent. (Find an agent by visiting

A fact sheet for the Apiculture Pilot Insurance Program can be found here: apiculture.pdf.