RMA Administrator Discusses Nursery Value Select Program Expansion

Clint ThompsonUSDA

By Clint Thompson

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging specialty crop producers and nursery operators to participate in the Nursery Value Select Program; a program that has existed for decades in a limited number of states and counties.

Official portrait, Marcia Bunger Administrator for the United States Department of Agriculture, Risk Management Agency. USDA photo by Tom Witham.

Marcia Bunger, administrator for the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA), discussed the program’s expansion to include many more states and many more counties.

“What we took and built upon what they had already in place for us, made some tweaks and expanded it. When we talk about nursery crops, we talk about, typically, plants that are grown in a controlled environment but can be susceptible to disease, insect infestations and even in the event type of situations where weather would possibly damage those facilities,” Bunger said. “This policy protects those growers who are in this specialized type of agriculture.

“Through feedback, listening to growers and listening to industry, they continue to want it. The thing that I think is interesting with this rollout is we are expanding it five times into as many states as before. Previously, we were in a limited number of areas in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. But now we are going from 9 to 43 states and from 78 to 386 counties. This program will be available in all counties in all states.”

Program Details

The pilot program allows nursery producers to select the dollar amount of coverage that best fits their risk management needs. It covers damage due to the following: adverse weather conditions; fire; weeds and undergrowth near the insured plants or buildings in which the insured plants are grown are controlled by chemical or mechanical means; and wildlife.

Those interested in learning more about the program can attend a virtual workshop on Thursday, July 18 at 2 p.m. (CDT).

Workshop sessions are valuable for producers in the newly expanded areas and for the Nursery Field Grown and Container crop insurance program, which ends beginning with the 2026 crop year.