It is the purpose of this subchapter to promote the national welfare by improving the economic stability of agriculture through a sound system of crop insurance and providing the means for the research and experience helpful in devising and establishing such insurance.
As used in this subchapter:
(1) Additional coverage
The term “additional coverage” means a plan of crop insurance coverage providing a level of coverage greater than the level available under catastrophic risk protection.
(2) Approved insurance provider
The term “approved insurance provider” means a private insurance provider that has been approved by the Corporation to provide insurance coverage to producers participating in the Federal crop insurance program established under this subchapter.
(3) Beginning farmer or rancher
The term “beginning farmer or rancher” means a farmer or rancher who has not actively operated and managed a farm or ranch with a bona fide insurable interest in a crop or livestock as an owner-operator, landlord, tenant, or sharecropper for more than 5 crop years, as determined by the Secretary.
The term “Board” means the Board of Directors of the Corporation established under section 1505(a) of this title.
The term “Corporation” means the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation established under section 1503 of this title.
The term “Department” means the United States Department of Agriculture.
(7) Farm financial benchmarking
The term “farm financial benchmarking” means--
(A) the process of comparing the performance of an agricultural enterprise against the performance of other similar enterprises, through the use of comparable and reliable data, in order to identify business management strengths, weaknesses, and steps necessary to improve management performance and business profitability; and
(B) benchmarking of the type conducted by farm management and producer associations consistent with the activities described in or funded pursuant to section 5925f of this title.
(8) Loss ratio
The term “loss ratio” means the ratio of all sums paid by the Corporation as indemnities under any eligible crop insurance policy to that portion of the premium designated for anticipated losses and a reasonable reserve, other than that portion of the premium designated for operating and administrative expenses.
(9) Organic crop
The term “organic crop” means an agricultural commodity that is organically produced consistent with section 6502 of this title.
The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture.
(11) Transitional yield
The term “transitional yield” means the maximum average production per acre or equivalent measure that is assigned to acreage for a crop year by the Corporation in accordance with the regulations of the Corporation whenever the producer fails--
(A) to certify that acceptable documentation of production and acreage for the crop year is in the possession of the producer; or
(B) to present the acceptable documentation on the demand of the Corporation or an insurance company reinsured by the Corporation.
(c) Protection of confidential information
(1) General prohibition against disclosure
Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary, any other officer or employee of the Department or an agency thereof, an approved insurance provider and its employees and contractors, and any other person may not disclose to the public information furnished by a producer under this subchapter.
(2) Authorized disclosure
(A) Disclosure in statistical or aggregate form
Information described in paragraph (1) may be disclosed to the public if the information has been transformed into a statistical or aggregate form that does not allow the identification of the person who supplied particular information.
(B) Consent of producer
A producer may consent to the disclosure of information described in paragraph (1). The participation of the producer in, and the receipt of any benefit by the producer under, this subchapter or any other program administered by the Secretary may not be conditioned on the producer providing consent under this paragraph.
(3) Violations; penalties
Section 2276(c) of this title shall apply with respect to the release of information collected in any manner or for any purpose prohibited by this subsection.
Subject to subparagraph (B), the Farm Service Agency shall, in a timely manner, provide to an agent or an approved insurance provider authorized by the producer any information (including Farm Service Agency Form 578s (or any successor form)) or maps (or any corrections to those forms or maps) that may assist the agent or approved insurance provider in insuring the producer under a policy or plan of insurance under this subchapter.
Except as provided in subparagraph (C), an agent or approved insurance provider that receives the information of a producer pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall treat the information in accordance with paragraph (1).
Nothing in this section prohibits the sharing of the information of a producer pursuant to subparagraph (A) between the agent and the approved insurance provider of the producer.
(d) Relation to other laws
(1) Terms and conditions of policies and plans
The terms and conditions of any policy or plan of insurance offered under this subchapter that is reinsured by the Corporation shall not--
(A) be subject to the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or the Securities and Exchange Commission; or
(B) be considered to be accounts, agreements (including any transaction that is of the character of, or is commonly known to the trade as, an “option”, “privilege”, “indemnity”, “bid”, “offer”, “put”, “call”, “advance guaranty”, or “decline guaranty”), or transactions involving contracts of sale of a commodity for future delivery, traded or executed on a contract market for the purposes of the Commodity Exchange Act ( 7 U.S.C. 1 et seq. ).
(2) Effect on CFTC and Commodity Exchange Act
Nothing in this subchapter affects the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or the applicability of the Commodity Exchange Act ( 7 U.S.C. 1 et seq. ) to any transaction conducted on a contract market under that Act by an approved insurance provider to offset the approved insurance provider's risk under a plan or policy of insurance under this subchapter.
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