Master Yield (MY)

crop insurance master yield options
Federal Crop Insurance Master Yields

Master Yield (MY)

Here is a brief summary of what the Master Yield (MY) is all about from our friends over at RMA:

Master yields are based on acreage and production history from all acreage of the insured crop in the county in which you have/had a share in the crop’s production on the same basis as your approved yield. When applicable, your master yield will be your approved yield as authorized by approved FCIC procedures.

How a Master Yield works.

Basic “Rules”

  • Master Yields are not available for all crops in all counties.  Refer to the table below for a current (at the time of writing this article) list of Approved Crops by State.

  • Master Yields are not eligible on Catastrophe (CAT) policies
  • Master Yields are for the County, Crop, Type, Practice, and Map Area
    • Cannot have a combination of Master Yields and Approved Yields*
      • *Acreage emerging from a USDA program (such as CRP), New Breaking acreage – initial year, or Native Sod.
        • These will have their own Approved Yields independent of the Master Yield.
      • *”Acreage transitioning to organic without an organic plan or written documentation from an organic certifying agent.”
  • Master Yields follow the Operator (more on this later).
  • Deadline to add/apply for the Master Yield is the Production Reporting Deadline (PRD) for the County, Crop, Practice, and Type.
    • The request must be signed by the farmer, and received no later then 30 calendar days after the PRD.
  • Must have a minimum of 4 Years of Actual Production history for the County, Crop, Practice, Type, AND Map Area your are applying for.

High level explanation

Master Yields, on the surface, are fairly simple.  You take all of the Actual Production in a County for a particular Crop, Practice, Type, AND Map Area and put that data into an APH Database.  You then use that data to determine your Approved Yield for every Unit/APH Database for that particular County, Crop, Practice, Type, AND Map Area.

In other words – once you figure out what your Master Yield is for your crop; that number overrides the Approved Yield used in calculating your coverage.

Reasons people use Master Yields

There are many reasons why someone would want to use a Master Yield, but one of the most common is that a farmer is seeding a Unit/s that has a lower Approved Yield then the rest of the operation and would like to increase their Approved Yield.  Keep in mind there is a lot to unpack here, but essentially that is the number 1 reason people use a Master Yield – to increase their Approved Yield.

Common pitfalls of using a Master Yield

Other then the paperwork required to setup, and maintain, a Master Yield the biggest pitfall is that ALL of your Units for the particular County, Crop, Practice, Type, AND Map Area have* to use the Master Yield.  You could have a Unit/APH Database with a higher Approved Yield then the Master Yield, but would have to use the Master Yield to determine your coverage aka lower your guaranty.

Master Yields follow the Operator.

Understanding what/who the Operator is.

The following is directly from RMA’s MY presentation:

  • Operator is the individual with largest insurable interest in the crop

    – If two or more individuals share equally and make management decisions

    equally, both will be considered operators

    ■ All operator history from both individuals will be combined for the master yield

Defining the Operator is crucial to understanding how the Master Yield program works.  You must be able to prove who the Operator is, typically by using the Named Insured and/or Significant Business Interests (SBI’s) on the crop insurance policy itself.

Once you define who the Operator is you can then, and MUST, use ALL of the history that Operator has for the appropriate County, Crop, Practice, Type, and Map Area.  You cannot pick and choose which history to use or not use.  ALL of the history must be used.  This is particularly important when the Operator is involved in multiple entities!

RMA does an outstanding job of explaining how the Operator process works in their 2023 Master Yield Certification Training Presentation.  I do not have a link to this presentation, so I am not certain if I can publish it on my website.  However, if you reach out to me directly I can share with you the presentation that all AIP Underwriters, crop insurance agents, etc. have access to.


Let’s take a look at some made up entities, and their history to see how their Master Yields will play out.  Keep in mind that all of this data is made up, including the entity names and history.


Let’s assume that all of the entities are growing the same crop, type, map area, in the same county.  Let’s also assume that all of this work is being done prior to the crop’s Production Reporting Deadline (PRD) as well.


  • Sarah Johnson – individual
  • Michael Chen – spousal
  • Green Harvest Farms
    • Owned 100% by Sarah Johnson
  • Golden Fields Agriculture
    • Owned 100% by Michael Chen
  • Harmony AgriSolutions
    • Partnership – 50% Sarah Johnson / 50% Michael Chen


Based on the above information, and some behind the scenes verifications, we have determined that Sarah Johnson is an Operator on her policy, Green Harvest Farms policy, and Harmony AgriSolutions policy.

We have also determined that Michael Chen is an Operator on his policy, Golden Fields Agricultures policy, and Harmony AgriSolutions policy as well – RMA allows for two Operators if 50/50.

Master Yields (MY):

Sarah’s Master Yield (MY):

  • Sarah’s history + Green Harvest Farms History + Harmony AgriSolutions

Michael Chen’s Master Yield (MY):

  • Michael’s history + Golden Field Agriculture + Harmony AgriSolutions

Harmony AgriSolutions Master Yield (MY):

  • Harmony AgriSolutions + Sarah’s history + Michael’s history + Green Harvest Farms History + Golden Field Agriculture

APH Databases for illustrative purposes:



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