Updates to crop insurance plans broaden access for specialty crop, organic, direct market and others
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is improving two of its most comprehensive risk management safety net programs, Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) and Micro Farm, making them more accessible to America’s agricultural producers. This includes doubling the maximum insurable revenue under WFRP, now $17 million, more than tripling the size of farm operations eligible for Micro Farm, now $350,000 and reducing paperwork requirements for WFRP. These improvements are in direct response to feedback from stakeholders as USDA’s Risk Management Agency recognizes the important role these insurance options play for many producers, including specialty crop, organic and direct market producers.
“Listening to farmers and ranchers, learning about their needs and increasing access to resources are all priorities for us at RMA,” said RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger. “Over the past year and a half, we have rolled out a number of improvements to WFRP, as well as introduced the new Micro Farm program, and through updates to Whole Farm Revenue Protection and Micro Farm, RMA can now help even more local food, direct market, specialty crop and organic producers protect their operations.”
The WFRP program provides protection for all eligible commodities on a farm under one insurance policy. Now, producers can insure up to $17 million in revenue (formerly $8.5 million).
Other updates to WFRP include:
· Allowing a producer to report and self-certify yield at the beginning of the year for commodities without other insurance options in a way similar to those with individual crop policies. This will significantly reduce the amount of paperwork required to apply for WFRP.
· Eliminating expense reporting to reduce paperwork burden. In place of expense reporting, WFRP will reduce the expected revenue of commodities a producer is unable to plant to 60%, similar to prevented planting for other programs.
These updates build on others recently made to WFRP, including expanded coverage and flexibilities for organic producers.
The Micro Farm program, offered through WFRP, provides a risk management safety net for all eligible commodities on a farm under one insurance policy, but on a smaller scale. Now, producers with farm operations up to $350,000 in approved revenue (formerly $100,000) can get coverage. RMA introduced the new Micro Farm program in 2021 to better serve direct market and small-scale producers. While the program is well received and feedback has been largely positive, industry partners and small, diversified producers have informed RMA that the current limit is too low to meet the needs of many interested producers. In response, the FCIC approved the increase in size for eligible farm operations.
The updates to WFRP and Micro Farm take effect in crop year 2023.
Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at rma.usda.gov.
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