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7 U.S. Code § 1502 - Purpose; definitions; protection of information; relation to other laws

(a) Purpose

It is the purpose of this subchapter to promote the national welfare by improving the economic stability of agriculture through a sound system of crop insurance and providing the means for the research and experience helpful in devising and establishing such insurance.

(b) DefinitionsAs used in this subchapter:
(1) Additional coverage

The term “additional coverage” means a plan of crop insurance coverage providing a level of coverage greater than the level available under catastrophic risk protection.

(2) Approved insurance provider

The term “approved insurance provider” means a private insurance provider that has been approved by the Corporation to provide insurance coverage to producers participating in the Federal crop insurance program established under this subchapter.

(3) Beginning farmer or rancher

The term “beginning farmer or rancher” means a farmer or rancher who has not actively operated and managed a farm or ranch with a bona fide insurable interest in a crop or livestock as an owner-operator, landlord, tenant, or sharecropper for more than 5 crop years, as determined by the Secretary.

(4) Board

The term “Board” means the Board of Directors of the Corporation established under section 1505(a) of this title.

(5) Corporation

The term “Corporation” means the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation established under section 1503 of this title.

(6) Cover crop termination

The term “cover crop termination” means a practice that historically and under reasonable circumstances results in the termination of the growth of a cover crop.

(7) Department

The term “Department” means the United States Department of Agriculture.

(8) Farm financial benchmarkingThe term “farm financial benchmarking” means—
the process of comparing the performance of an agricultural enterprise against the performance of other similar enterprises, through the use of comparable and reliable data, in order to identify business management strengths, weaknesses, and steps necessary to improve management performance and business profitability; and
benchmarking of the type conducted by farm management and producer associations consistent with the activities described in or funded pursuant to section 5925f of this title.
(9) Hemp

The term “hemp” has the meaning given the term in section 1639o of this title.

(10) Loss ratio

The term “loss ratio” means the ratio of all sums paid by the Corporation as indemnities under any eligible crop insurance policy to that portion of the premium designated for anticipated losses and a reasonable reserve, other than that portion of the premium designated for operating and administrative expenses.

(11) Organic crop

The term “organic crop” means an agricultural commodity that is organically produced consistent with section 6502 of this title.

(12) Secretary

The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture.

(13) Transitional yieldThe term “transitional yield” means the maximum average production per acre or equivalent measure that is assigned to acreage for a crop year by the Corporation in accordance with the regulations of the Corporation whenever the producer fails—
to certify that acceptable documentation of production and acreage for the crop year is in the possession of the producer; or
to present the acceptable documentation on the demand of the Corporation or an insurance company reinsured by the Corporation.
(14) Veteran farmer or rancherThe term “veteran farmer or rancher” means a farmer or rancher who—
has served in the Armed Forces (as defined in section 101 of title 38); and
has not operated a farm or ranch;
has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 5 years; or
is a veteran (as defined in section 101 of that title) who has first obtained status as a veteran (as so defined) during the most recent 5-year period.
(c) Protection of confidential information
(1) General prohibition against disclosure

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary, any other officer or employee of the Department or an agency thereof, an approved insurance provider and its employees and contractors, and any other person may not disclose to the public information furnished by a producer under this subchapter.

(2) Authorized disclosure
(A) Disclosure in statistical or aggregate form

Information described in paragraph (1) may be disclosed to the public if the information has been transformed into a statistical or aggregate form that does not allow the identification of the person who supplied particular information.

(B) Consent of producer

A producer may consent to the disclosure of information described in paragraph (1). The participation of the producer in, and the receipt of any benefit by the producer under, this subchapter or any other program administered by the Secretary may not be conditioned on the producer providing consent under this paragraph.

(3) Violations; penalties

Section 2276(c) of this title shall apply with respect to the release of information collected in any manner or for any purpose prohibited by this subsection.

(4) Information
(A) Request

Subject to subparagraph (B), the Farm Service Agency shall, in a timely manner, provide to an agent or an approved insurance provider authorized by the producer any information (including Farm Service Agency Form 578s (or any successor form)) or maps (or any corrections to those forms or maps) that may assist the agent or approved insurance provider in insuring the producer under a policy or plan of insurance under this subchapter.

(B) Privacy

Except as provided in subparagraph (C), an agent or approved insurance provider that receives the information of a producer pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall treat the information in accordance with paragraph (1).

(C) Sharing

Nothing in this section prohibits the sharing of the information of a producer pursuant to subparagraph (A) between the agent and the approved insurance provider of the producer.

(d) Relation to other laws
(1) Terms and conditions of policies and plansThe terms and conditions of any policy or plan of insurance offered under this subchapter that is reinsured by the Corporation shall not—
be subject to the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or the Securities and Exchange Commission; or
be considered to be accounts, agreements (including any transaction that is of the character of, or is commonly known to the trade as, an “option”, “privilege”, “indemnity”, “bid”, “offer”, “put”, “call”, “advance guaranty”, or “decline guaranty”), or transactions involving contracts of sale of a commodity for future delivery, traded or executed on a contract market for the purposes of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.).
(2) Effect on CFTC and Commodity Exchange Act

Nothing in this subchapter affects the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or the applicability of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.) to any transaction conducted on a contract market under that Act by an approved insurance provider to offset the approved insurance provider’s risk under a plan or policy of insurance under this subchapter.

(Feb. 16, 1938, ch. 30, title V, § 502, 52 Stat. 72; June 21, 1941, ch. 214, § 1, 55 Stat. 255; Aug. 1, 1947, ch. 440, § 4, 61 Stat. 719; Pub. L. 103–354, title I, § 102(a), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3180; Pub. L. 106–224, title I, §§ 122, 141, June 20, 2000, 114 Stat. 377, 389; Pub. L. 110–234, title XII, §§ 12001, 12033(c)(2)(B), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1371, 1405; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title XII, §§ 12001, 12033(c)(2)(B), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 2133, 2167; Pub. L. 113–79, title XI, §§ 11001, 11016(a), 11027(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 954, 963, 977; Pub. L. 115–334, title XI, § 11101, title XII, § 12306(b)(1), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4919, 4968.)
Editorial Notes
References in Text

The Commodity Exchange Act, referred to in subsec. (d)(1)(B), (2), is act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 369, 42 Stat. 998, which is classified generally to chapter 1 (§ 1 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 1 of this title and Tables.


Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.


2018—Subsec. (b)(6) to (13). Pub. L. 115–334, § 11101, added pars. (6) and (9) and redesignated former pars. (6) to (11) as (7), (8), and (10) to (13), respectively.

Subsec. (b)(14). Pub. L. 115–334, § 12306(b)(1), added par. (14).

2014—Subsec. (b)(3) to (6). Pub. L. 113–79, § 11016(a), added par. (3) and redesignated former pars. (3) to (5) as (4) to (6), respectively. Former par. (6) redesignated (7).

Subsec. (b)(7) to (10). Pub. L. 113–79, § 11027(a), added par. (7) and redesignated former pars. (7) to (9) as (8) to (10), respectively. Former par. (10) redesignated (11).

Pub. L. 113–79, § 11016(a)(1), redesignated pars. (6) to (9) as (7) to (10), respectively.

Subsec. (b)(11). Pub. L. 113–79, § 11027(a)(1), redesignated par. (10) as (11).

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 113–79, § 11001, added par. (4).

2008—Pub. L. 110–246, § 12033(c)(2)(B), substituted “this subchapter” for “this chapter” wherever appearing.

Subsec. (b)(7) to (9). Pub. L. 110–246, § 12001, added par. (7) and redesignated former pars. (7) and (8) as (8) and (9), respectively.

2000—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 106–224, § 122, added subsec. (c).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 106–224, § 141, added subsec. (d).

1994—Pub. L. 103–354 substituted “Purpose and definitions” for “Declaration of purpose” in section catchline, designated existing text as subsec. (a) and added heading, and added subsec. (b).

1947—Act Aug. 1, 1947, amended section generally, restating purpose of chapter to improve all agriculture by crop insurance instead of being limited only to wheat.

1941—Act June 21, 1941, substituted “crop” for “wheat-crop” and “agricultural commodities” for “wheat”.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of this title.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Pub. L. 103–354, title I, § 120, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3208, provided that:

“Except as otherwise provided in this title, this title [enacting sections 1433f, 1515, 1521, and 2008f of this title, amending this section and sections 1441–2, 1444–2, 1444f, 1445b–3a, 1503 to 1509, 1511, 1513, 1516, and 1518 to 1520 of this title, sections 901 and 902 of Title 2, The Congress, and section 1014 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, repealing sections 1446i and 1508a of this title, enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 1501, 1506, and 1508 of this title and sections 901 and 902 of Title 2, and repealing provisions set out as a note under section 1421 of this title] and the amendments made by this title shall become effective on the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 13, 1994] and shall apply to the provision of crop insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) beginning with the 1995 crop year. With respect to the 1994 crop year, the Federal Crop Insurance Act (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act) shall continue to apply.”