Summary: S.1401 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1401. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (07/20/1999)

Specialty Crop Insurance Act of 1999 - Amends the Federal Crop Insurance Act to direct the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to offer to enter into a contract with the specialty crop administrator to assume Risk Management Agency responsibility for specialty crop insurance and related products and policies under the Federal crop insurance program.

Defines "specialty crops" as nonprogram crops, including fruits, nuts, vegetables, timber, turfgrass, and greenhouse and nursery plants.

Defines " specialty crop administrator" as a nonprofit corporation organized to: (1) develop, assess, and rate crop insurance policies; (2) operate as a crop insurance advisory organization and a crop insurance statistical organization; and (3) perform other related activities.

Authorizes the administrator to: (1) establish State or regional advisory committees for each specialty crop program; and (2) provide assistance for research and development of insurance products for underserved specialty crops. Sets forth related provisions with respect to: (1) coverage funding; (2) minimum catastrophic risk protection coverage; (3) additional coverage minimum subsidy levels; (4) premium discounts and surcharges; (5) purchase time periods; (6) cooperative or association payment of producer fees; and (7) enforcement.

Authorizes the Agency to enter into partnerships with public and private entities to increase the availability of risk management tools for specialty crop producers.

Directs the Corporation and the administrator to jointly study the feasibility of developing new crop insurance products.

Directs the Corporation to use the administrator to operate the gross revenue pilot programs for specialty crops. Provides for such programs' expansion in any counties in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, and other States as appropriate.

(Sec. 4) Revises Corporation Board of Directors provisions. Gives the Board independent oversight authority over all specialty crop decisions of the Corporation, the Agency, and the administrator.

(Sec. 5) Limits the administrative costs that an approved insurance provider may retain from specialty crop producer fees..

(Sec. 6) Authorizes the Corporation and the Secretary of Agriculture, in carrying out a pilot insurance or reinsurance program, to: (1) offer the program on a regional, State, or national basis; and (2) operate the program as a renewable three-year program.

(Sec. 7) Includes losses due to price level changes among crop insurance eligibility criteria.

(Sec. 8) Authorizes the Corporation to use specified funds for Agency development partnerships.

(Sec. 9) Amends the Agricultural Market Transition Act, with respect to the noninsured crop disaster assistance program, to eliminate: (1) area loss requirements; and (2) natural disaster requirements for purposes of prevented planting and reduced yield payments.