The July 15 sign-up deadline for the Rainfall Index–Annual Forage Insurance (RI-AF) plan is fast approaching.

The coverage is for the fall growing season, which runs from Sept. 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015. All premium payments are due by Aug. 30, 2015.

The sign-up deadline for the spring season – March 1 through Sept. 30, 2015 – is Dec. 15.

The insurance plan protects livestock producers against losses due to a lack of moisture.

RI-AF is similar to Pasture Range and Forage Insurance (PRF), which covers perennial grasses such as pasture and hay. RI-AF covers annual forage crops, including spring plantings of sudangrass, haygrazer and millet. It also covers winter small grains, including wheat, oats, rye, triticale, etc.

Payment under each insurance program is based on a grid system and weather data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Climate Prediction Center. It’s not based on the amount of damage suffered by individual farmers.

The RI-AF plan requires farmers to cover all certified acres not intended for grain production. Producers in Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas are eligible for that plan. Producers should contact their local crop insurance agents for more information or to sign up.