Diversified farmers will now have access to an improved crop insurance option with USDA’s release of its new Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) crop insurance policy.
The policy allows farmers to insure all of their crops, livestock, and nursery and greenhouse crops for a revenue loss with a single policy rather than using individual crop policies. It is being offered initially as a pilot policy.
The policy allows producers to insure between 50 to 85% of their whole farm revenue and makes crop insurance more affordable for producers, including fruit and vegetable growers and organic farmers and ranchers.
For many diversified farmers, including sustainable and organic farmers, individual policies and price elections are often not available either for the crops being grown or in the county they are being grow in. Additionally, on highly diversified farms, where only a small amount of some crops or livestock is grown or raised, purchasing several separate polices often doesn’t make financial sense.
Whole-Farm Revenue Protection allows these growers to insure a variety of crops at once instead of one commodity at a time. That gives them the option of embracing more crop diversity and helps support the production of a wider variety of foods.
“USDA is committed to making crop insurance available and affordable to as many producers as possible. Whole- Farm Revenue Protection is another example of how we’re working with, and listening to, producers to create a safety net that meets their specific needs,” said Risk Management Agency (RMA) administrator Brandon Willis.
Whole-Farm Revenue Protection is tailored for any farm with up to $8.5 million in insured revenue, including farms with specialty or organic commodities (both crops and livestock), or those marketing to local, regional, farm-identity preserved, specialty, or direct markets.
“The release of this new whole farm policy levels the playing field for diversified sustainable and organic farmers” said Paul Wolfe, Policy Analyst for NSAC. “Farmers that grow crops that are uninsurable under any other policy and those who cannot insure their organic or niche market crop for its true value now have what we hope is a very viable insurance option.”
The whole farm policy is available in most states. The new policy will also provide a whole-farm premium subsidy to farms with two or more commodities as long as minimum diversification requirements are met, which means purchasing crop insurance will be more affordable for producers. Whole-Farm Revenue Protection can be purchased in conjunction with individual crop policies as long as those policies are at a buy-up coverage level.
WFRP will be available in 44 states, more states than either of the two previously available whole farm type policies, Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) or AGR-Lite. RMA has developed a map indicating in which states WFRP will be available.
For the first time, farmers in eight states, including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and South Dakota, will be able insure their entire farm revenue with one policy.
“We hope that in the near future RMA will expand the availability of Whole-Farm Revenue Protection to every state and county so all farmers have equitable access to crops insurance,” said Wolfe.