Pasture, Rangeland and Forage, or PRF, insurance is a risk policy designed to provide annual protection for farmers and ranchers who rely on forage products to support their cattle operations, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

“In the face of uncertain weather conditions, insurance becomes a critical component in producers’ risk management portfolios,” said DeDe Jones, AgriLife Extension risk management specialist in Amarillo.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency offers the PRF program and policies covering the 2021 calendar year through crop insurance agents until Nov. 15. Premiums will be billed on Sept. 1, 2021.

Forage insurance can be purchased for native rangeland, which can be diminished by unfavorable weather conditions. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Kay Ledbetter)

“While this coverage for ranchers haying and grazing perennial acreage has been available for a while, some changes in eligibility requirements have happened over the past few years,” Jones said. “To qualify now, pasture/rangeland producers must have an insurable interest in the livestock grazing their land.” Producers are not required to insure all their acres for the entire 12-month period, she said. They can choose the acres and months most important to their grazing and/or haying operations.

Payment is not determined by individual damages, but rather area losses based on a grid system, Jones said. Producers can select any portion of acres to insure, but they must select between a minimum of two and a maximum of six two-month periods.

Coverage levels between 70% and 90% are available, Jones said. Once coverage is selected, the producer also chooses a productivity factor between 60% and 150%. The productivity factor is a percentage of the established county base value for forage.

The base value is a standard rate published by the Risk Management Agency for each county. It is calculated based on estimated stocking rates and current hay prices. Jones said the program uses a rainfall index to determine potential indemnity payments. Additionally, she said alfalfa and other irrigated hay can be insured under a PRF policy at different coverage levels and higher base values.

A decision-support tool is available online to help producers determine coverage levels and intervals.

For more information about the insurance and how it fits into a risk management plan, contact Jones at 806-677-5600 or

Kay Ledbetter
Kay Ledbetter is an associate editor/communication specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Amarillo. She is responsible for writing news releases and feature articles from science-based information generated or provided by agency faculty throughout the state.