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Monsanto offering biotech crop insurance discount

The Biotech Yield Endorsement (BYE) program, which provides farmers a discount on crop insurance if planting USDA-approved biotech corn varieties, has grown to include Monsanto offerings.

Farmers in 11 states who plant a majority of their corn acres to hybrids including Monsanto's YieldGard trait -- including YieldGard Plus with Roundup Ready Corn 2, YieldGard VT Triple and YieldGard VT Triple PRO -- will have an opportunity to lower their crop insurance premiums in 2009, company officials say.

The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) Board of Directors of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently approved the expansion of a Risk Management Biotechnology Endorsement for the 2009 crop year. The BYE program will continue to be offered as part of the Risk Management Biotechnology Endorsement.

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.

The Biotech Yield Endorsement (BYE) program, which provides farmers a discount on crop insurance if planting USDA-approved biotech corn varieties, has grown to include Monsanto offerings.

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