Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. announced it has purchased Des Moines, Iowa-based Crop1 Insurance, the first company approved by the Federal Crop Insurance Corp. to offer the Premium Reduction Plan.

Crop1 Insurance will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co., one of three property-casualty insurance companies managed by FBL Financial Group, Inc., an insurance and financial services holding company based in West Des Moines, Iowa.

USDA recently authorized Crop1 to again offer the Premium Reduction Plan in 2006. The approval came despite efforts by some crop insurance providers to persuade the government to terminate the program.

The Premium Reduction Plan or Premium Discount Plan was authorized by the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000. Crop1 currently offers the plan in 21 states.

Crop1 Insurance Chief Executive Officer Billy Rose says his company's Premium Discount Plan has historically provided savings of up to 10 percent on federally reinsured crop insurance programs with the exception of USDA's Catastrophic Insurance or CAT program.

“This was a big win for farmers,” he said of the reauthorization. “Crop1 is the only company for the last three years that has been able to pass along savings averaging 8.5 percent to its customers.”

“This acquisition will strengthen both organizations,” said Bruce Trost, Farm Bureau Mutual executive vice president. “Crop1's position as an innovator and market leader brings additional expertise to Farm Bureau Mutual's crop insurance program, and Crop 1 will benefit from the strength of the Farm Bureau brand.

“Crop1's technology and proven savings will help us provide innovative and affordable crop insurance to meet the unique needs of crop producers throughout our marketing territory.”

Rose said the acquisition by Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. will allow Crop1 to offer a savings to more crop producers across a broader geography.

“Crop1 Insurance has taken an innovative approach to delivering the best possible crop insurance to producers at a savings,” he said. “We use technology to pinpoint the best plan for individual circumstances.