USDA's Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board of Directors, at its Aug 14, 2008 meeting, approved additional seed technologies and states for a premium rate reduction for producers who plant certain qualifying corn hybrids. The Biotech Yield Endorsement Program, or BYE Program, applies to approved corn seed hybrids containing specific biotech traits that enhance protection against above-ground lepidopteron pests (such as moths and their larvae) and below-ground corn rootworm damage, and confer tolerance to certain herbicides.
The program is an expansion of the 2008 pilot originally approved as BYE Program, of which Monsanto seeds were the only ones approved for the premiums. This year Pioneer, Dow AgroSciences and Syngenta Seeds also were granted approval for certain hybrids.
In 2009 the program will be available in the following additional states: Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. These expansion states join the original four pilot states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota.
The program lowers premiums for non-irrigated corn producers who plant qualifying hybrids in the approved states and also includes irrigated acres in Kansas and Nebraska. The cost of a total policy premium during the 2008 BYE pilot program was reduced on average by more than $3 per acre on policies such as Actual Production History, Revenue Assurance, and Crop Production Coverage. Savings with the 2009 pilot are expected to be similar, a statement from Monsanto said.
Under the resolutions approved by the FCIC Board, the following seed technologies and states will be eligible for coverage beginning with the 2009 crop year:
• Monsanto YieldGard Plus with Roundup Ready Corn 2, YieldGard VT Triple, and YieldGard VT Triple PRO hybrids for non-irrigated corn for grain in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Nebraska, in addition to the original pilot states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota, submitted by the Western Agricultural Insurance Company, working with the Monsanto Company. In addition, irrigated corn for grain acreage planted to the qualifying Monsanto hybrids would be eligible for coverage in Kansas and Nebraska.
• Pioneer and Dow AgroSciences Herculex Xtra and Herculex Xtra RR2 hybrids for non-irrigated corn for grain in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, submitted by Stonington Insurance Company and Agro National, LLC, in conjunction with Dow AgroSciences, LLC, and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
• Syngenta Agrisure CB and RW stacked and Agrisure 3000GT hybrids for non-irrigated corn for grain in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, submitted by John Deere Risk Protection, Inc, in conjunction with Syngenta Seeds, Inc.