The USDA announced a provision to exclude yields from Actual Production History for farmers affected by severe weather will go into effect for some select spring crops in 2015.

The provision for the 2014 farm bill essentially waives production yields that collapsed due to extreme weather. The APH exclusion would adjust a farmer’s actual yields for crop insurance in counties where the average planted-acre yield tumbled at least 50% below a 10-year county average. Under the provision, farmers could exclude yields for up to six years of crops. Growers in contiguous counties would also be eligible for the extra protection.

USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack, reiterated a couple of times how complex the APH exclusion is to implement and the variables involved. Taking a shot at USDA’s critics, he said it’s easy for “folks sitting in the cheap seats” to second-guess the USDA’s implementation of the provision. As USDA rolls out the provision for more crops, it is important to protect the actuarial soundness of the crop-insurance program.