; Production and Marketing Risk Management Programs for Oyster Aquaculture Farmers | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Production and Marketing Risk Management Programs for Oyster Aquaculture Farmers

Steve Richards


This presentation shows how a multidisciplinary project team was able to overcome policy and communication barriers while working with oyster farmers in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina to improve production and marketing risk management practices. Aquaculture producers are designated as underserved producers by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC). These producers also sell more than 90% of their products to restaurants, which have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FCIC has a crop insurance policy for clams in the Mid-Atlantic states, but the aquaculture industry has since shifted almost entirely to oyster production. And, while there is excellent research underway at the regional risk management office in Raleigh, North Carolina, there is still no oyster crop insurance policy. To overcome this, the project team worked with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to increase the yield and price coverage levels in the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), resulting in a much more appealing risk management product.

To assist oyster producers in marketing their products outside food service channels, a consumer preference survey was administered to over 1200 local oyster consumers in South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina. The results of this survey were used to help oyster growers better identify their target customers, overcome barriers selling direct to consumer, and to revise their future marketing plans.

Program impacts, including the modified NAP policy and oyster consumer survey results, will be shared with participants in this seminar to help educators work with this underserved audience in their states.