7 CFR 457.166 - Blueberry crop insurance provisions.
The Blueberry Crop Insurance Provisions for the 2005 and succeeding crop years are as follows:
If a conflict exists among the policy provisions, the order of priority is as follows: (1) The Catastrophic Risk Protection Endorsement, if applicable; (2) the Special Provisions; (3) these Crop Provisions; and (4) the Basic Provisions with (1) controlling (2), etc.
Damaged blueberries. Blueberries ready to harvest that due to an insurable cause of loss as shown in section 8 of these Crop Provisions do not meet the United States Standards for Grades of Blueberries, U.S. No. 1, or such other applicable grading standards specified in the Special Provisions.
Direct marketing. Sale of the insured crop directly to consumers without the intervention of an intermediary such as a wholesaler, retailer, packer, processor, shipper or buyer. Examples of direct marketing include selling through an on-farm or roadside stand, farmer's market, or permitting the general public to enter the field for the purpose of picking the crop.
Harvest. Picking mature blueberries from the bushes either by hand or machine.
Mature blueberry production. Blueberries ready to harvest that meet or exceed the United States Standards for Grades of Blueberries, U.S. No. 1, or such other applicable grading standards contained in the Special Provisions.
Pound. Sixteen ounces avoirdupois.
Production guarantee (per acre). The number of pounds determined by multiplying the approved yield per acre by the coverage level percentage you elect.
Prune. A cultural practice performed to increase blueberry production as follows:
(a) For lowbush blueberries, a process by which the acreage is either burned or mowed; and
(b) For all other blueberries, a process by which parts of the bush are cut off or the bush is cut back.
The enterprise, whole-farm, and optional unit provisions in the Basic Provisions are not applicable, and blueberry acreage is limited to basic units as defined in section 1 of the Basic Provisions, unless otherwise specified in the Special Provisions.
In addition to the requirements of section 3 of the Basic Provisions:
(a) You may select only one price election percentage for each blueberry type designated in the Special Provisions. The price elections you choose for each type must have the same percentage relationship to the maximum price offered by us for each type. For example, if you choose 100 percent of the maximum price election for one type, you must also choose 100 percent of the maximum price election for all other types.
(b) You must report (by type, if applicable) by the production reporting date designated in section 3 of the Basic Provisions:
(1) For all types of blueberries: any damage; removal of bushes; change in practices, or any other circumstance that may reduce the expected yield below the yield upon which the insurance guarantee is based; and the number of affected acres; and
(2) For highbush and rabbiteye blueberry types:
(i) The number of bearing bushes on insurable and uninsurable acreage; and
(ii) The age of the bushes and the planting pattern.
(c) We will reduce the yield used to establish your production guarantee as necessary, based on our estimate of the effect of the following: Removal of bushes; damage to bushes; changes in practices; and any other circumstance that may affect the yield potential of the insured crop. If you fail to notify us of any circumstance that may reduce your yields from previous levels, we will reduce your production guarantee as necessary at any time we become aware of the circumstance.
(d) You may not increase your elected or assigned coverage level or the ratio of your price election to the maximum price election we offer for the next year if a cause of loss that could or would reduce the yield of the insured crop is evident prior to the time you request the increase.
In accordance with section 4 of the Basic Provisions, the contract change date is August 31 preceding the cancellation date.
(a) In accordance with section 2 of the Basic Provisions, the cancellation and termination dates are November 20.
(b) If your blueberry policy is canceled or terminated by us for any crop year, in accordance with the terms of the policy, after insurance attached for that crop year but on or before the cancellation and termination dates whichever is later, insurance will be considered to have not attached for that crop year and no premium, administrative fee, or indemnity will be due for such crop year.
(c) We may not cancel your policy when an insured cause of loss has occurred after insurance attached, but prior to the cancellation date. However, your policy can be terminated if a cause for termination contained in sections 2 or 27 of the Basic Provisions exists.
(a) In accordance with section 8 of the Basic Provisions, the crop insured will be all the blueberries in the county for which a premium rate is provided in the actuarial documents:
(1) In which you have a share;
(2) That are grown on bush varieties that:
(i) Were commercially available when the bushes were set out or have subsequently became commercially available; and
(ii) Are varieties adapted to the area of the following types:
(A) Highbush blueberries;
(B) Lowbush blueberries;
(C) Rabbiteye blueberries; or
(D) Other blueberry types listed on the Special Provisions.
(3) That are produced on bushes that have reached the minimum insurable age or have produced the minimum yield per acre designated in the Special Provisions; and
(4) That, if inspected, are considered acceptable by us.
(b) Lowbush blueberry plants (or other types as specified in the Special Provisions) must be pruned every other year to be eligible for insurance.
(a) In accordance with the provisions of section 11 of the Basic Provisions:
(1) For the year of application, coverage begins on November 21 of the calendar year prior to the year the insured crop normally blooms, except that, if your application is received by us after November 1, insurance will attach on the twentieth day after your properly completed application is received in our local office unless we inspect the acreage during the 20-day period and determine that it does not meet insurability requirements. You must provide any information that we require for the crop or to determine the condition of the blueberry acreage.
(2) For each subsequent crop year that the policy remains continuously in force, coverage begins on the day immediately following the end of the insurance period for the prior crop year. Policy cancellation that results solely from transferring an existing policy to a different insurance provider for a subsequent crop year will not be considered a break in continuous coverage.
(3) The calendar date for the end of insurance period for each crop year is September 30 for Michigan and September 15 for all other states, unless specified otherwise in the Special Provisions.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions in this section, coverage may not begin for a crop year if the policy is cancelled or terminated in accordance with section 5(b).
(b) In addition to the provisions of section 11 of the Basic Provisions:
(1) If you acquire an insurable share in any insurable acreage after coverage begins but on or before the acreage reporting date for the crop year, and after an inspection we consider the acreage acceptable, insurance will be considered to have attached to such acreage on the calendar date for the beginning of the insurance period. There will be no coverage of any insurable interest acquired after the acreage reporting date.
(2) If you relinquish your insurable share on any insurable acreage of blueberries on or before the acreage reporting date for the crop year, insurance will not be considered to have attached to, and no premium or indemnity will be due for such acreage for that crop year unless:
(i) A transfer of coverage and right to an indemnity, or a similar form approved by us, is completed by all affected parties;
(ii) We are notified by you or the transferee in writing of such transfer on or before the acreage reporting date; and
(iii) The transferee is eligible for crop insurance.
(3) If you relinquish your insurable share on any insurable acreage of blueberries after the acreage reporting date for the crop year, insurance coverage will be provided for any loss due to an insurable cause of loss that occurred prior to the date that you relinquished your insurable share and the whole premium will be due for such acreage for that crop.
(a) In accordance with the provisions of section 12 of the Basic Provisions, insurance is provided only against the following causes of loss that occur during the insurance period:
(1) Adverse weather conditions;
(2) Fire, unless weeds and other forms of undergrowth have not been controlled or pruning debris has not been removed from the unit;
(3) Insects, but not damage due to insufficient or improper application of pest control measures;
(4) Plant disease, but not damage due to insufficient or improper application of disease control measures;
(6) Volcanic eruption;
(7) An insufficient number of chilling hours to effectively break dormancy;
(8) Wildlife, unless appropriate control measures have not been taken; and
(9) Failure of the irrigation water supply, if caused by a cause of loss specified in this section that occurs during the insurance period.
(b) In addition to the causes of loss excluded in section 12 of the Basic Provisions, we will not insure against damage or loss of production due to:
(1) Failure to install and maintain a proper drainage system;
(2) Failure to harvest in a timely manner;
(3) Inability to market the blueberries for any reason other than actual physical damage to the blueberries from an insurable cause specified in this section (for example, we will not pay you an indemnity if you are unable to market due to quarantine, boycott, or refusal of any person to accept production); or
(4) Mechanical damage.
In addition to the requirements of section 14 of the Basic Provisions, the following will apply:
(a) You must notify us:
(1) Within 3 days of the date harvest should have started if the crop will not be harvested.
(2) Within 24 hours if any cause of loss occurs:
(i) Within 15 days of harvest;
(ii) When the blueberries are mature and ready for harvest; or
(iii) During harvest.
(3) At least 15 days before any production from any unit will be sold by direct marketing. We will conduct an appraisal that will be used to determine your production to count sold by direct marketing. If damage occurs after this appraisal, we will conduct an additional appraisal. These appraisals and acceptable records provided by you will be used to determine your production to count. Failure to give timely notice that production will be sold by direct marketing will result in an appraised amount of production to count that is not less than the production guarantee per acre if such failure results in our inability to make the required appraisal.
(4) At least 15 days prior to the beginning of harvest if you intend to claim an indemnity on any unit as a result of previously reported damage, so that we may inspect the damaged production.
(b) You must not sell or dispose of the damaged crop until after we have given you written consent to do so. If you fail to meet the requirements of this section, and such failure results in our inability to inspect the damaged production, all such production will be considered undamaged and included as production to count.
(c) You may be required to harvest a sample, selected by us, to be used for appraisal purposes.
(a) We will determine your loss on a unit basis. In the event you are unable to provide acceptable production records for any basic unit, we will allocate any commingled production to such units in proportion to our liability on the harvested acreage for each unit.
(b) In the event of loss or damage covered by this policy, we will settle your claim by:
(1) Multiplying the insured acreage for each type, if applicable, by its respective production guarantee;
(2) Multiplying each result in section 10(b)(1) by the respective price election, by type if applicable;
(3) Totaling the results in section 10(b)(2) if there is more than one type;
(4) Multiplying the total production to count for each blueberry type, if applicable, by the respective price election;
(5) Totaling the results in section 10(b)(4), if there is more than one type;
(6) Subtracting the result in section 10(b)(5) from the result in section 10(b)(3); and
(7) Multiplying the result in section 10(b)(6) by your share.
You have 100 percent share in 25 acres of highbush blueberries with a production guarantee of 4,000 pounds per acre and a price election of $.45 per pound. You are only able to harvest 62,500 total pounds because adverse weather reduced the yield. Your indemnity would be calculated as follows:
(c) The total production to count (in pounds) from all insurable acreage on the unit will include:
(1) All appraised blueberry production as follows:
(i) Not less than the production guarantee per acre for acreage:
(A) That is abandoned;
(B) That is sold by direct marketing if you fail to meet the requirements contained in section 9;
(C) That is damaged solely by uninsured causes; or
(D) For which you fail to provide production records;
(ii) Production lost due to uninsured causes; and
(iii) Potential production on insured acreage that you intend to abandon or no longer care for, if you and we agree on the appraised amount of production. Upon such agreement, the insurance period for that acreage will end. If you do not agree with our appraisal, we may defer the claim only if you agree to continue to care for the crop. We will then make another appraisal when you notify us of further damage or that harvest is general in the area unless you harvest the crop, in which case we will use the harvested production. If you do not continue to care for the crop, our appraisal made prior to deferring the claim will be used to determine the production to count.
(2) All harvested mature blueberry production from the insurable acreage.
(d) If you have harvested or unharvested damaged blueberries and the percent of damaged blueberries exceeds that shown in the Special Provisions for that type, production to count for the damaged unit or portion of a unit will be determined as follows:
(1) The blueberries from the specific acreage will not be considered production to count if no blueberries are harvested and sold from such acreage;
(2) For damaged blueberries that are harvested and sold, the production to count for such damaged blueberries will be determined by:
(i) Subtracting the harvest costs contained in the Special Provisions from the price received for the damaged blueberries;
(ii) Dividing the result in section 10(d)(2)(i) by the price election; and
(iii) Multiplying the resulting factor from section 10(d)(2)(ii), not less than zero, by the pounds of damaged blueberries;
(e) If you have harvested or unharvested damaged blueberries and the percent of damaged blueberries does not exceed that shown in the Special Provisions for that type, the production to count for the damaged unit or portion of a unit will be the appraised or harvested production of blueberries.
(f) If we determine that frost protection equipment, as shown on your accepted application, was not properly utilized, the indemnity for the affected acreage in the unit will be reduced by the percentage reduction allowed for frost protection equipment as specified in the Special Provisions. You must, at our request, provide us records by date for each period the frost protection equipment was used.
The late and prevented planting provisions in the Basic Provisions are not applicable.