New USDA Shellfish Crop Insurance Program

The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced that oyster producers are now eligible for protection against losses due to named storms, excessive heat during a low tide event, freeze during a low tide event, or low salinity due to excessive rainfall. The new Shellfish Crop Insurance Pilot Program is an actual production history-price component (APH-PC) coverage policy for container-grown oysters commercially cultivated for the fresh half shell market. This new program will be available beginning with the 2024 crop year, and producers have until November 30 to purchase this policy.

For the APH-PC coverage policy, the producer selects the percentage of the average yield to insure―from 50% to 75%. Additionally, the producer also selects the percentage of the crop price to insure, between 55% and 100%, as established annually by RMA. If producers purchase additional levels of coverage, they may also increase their price guarantee using their historical sales records. The program uses county loss triggers combined with producers’ sales records to confirm a loss has occurred. The insurance guarantee is based on the number of oysters expected to be harvested between January 1 and December 31.

Insurability requires a minimum of four years of records and a minimum seed size of four millimeters. This new Shellfish Crop Insurance Program is available in select counties in Alabama, California, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia. In Florida, eligible counties are Franklin and Wakulla. Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator.

Learn more about the pilot program at or by contacting your RMA Regional Office.

Virtual Informational Sessions

USDA is hosting public sessions to introduce the program to interested parties and answer any questions you may have.

When                                                   Details

October 13     10:30am CST

October 16     9:00 am CST

October 17     1:00 pm CST

October 18     9:00 am CST

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