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Press Release: New Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Insurance Policy Aims for Diversified Farms

November 6, 2014


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Paul Wolfe, (202) 547-5754, pwolfe@sustainableagriculture.net

New Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Insurance Policy Aims for Diversified Farms

November 6, 2014, Washington, DC – Diversified farmers will now have access to a improved crop insurance option with USDA’s release today of the new Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) crop insurance policy.  This will be the first time that many farmers will have access to affordable crop insurance that provides flexible and comprehensive revenue coverage for their whole farm.

WFRP is a new policy called for in the 2014 Farm Bill and developed by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) that will allow 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.

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.

“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.”

WFRP will be available in 45 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.

This new policy includes several important improvements over AGR and AGR-Lite.  For instance, USDA recently announced that a farmer with two or more crops meeting the minimum diversification requirement can now receive an 80 percent premium subsidy under WFRP.  Some of the other important improvements included in WFRP that NSAC advocated for include a higher liability limit, higher coverage levels, a premium discount for diversification, inclusion of incidental processing expenses, and replant coverage.

More details on the new WFRP can be found on NSAC’s blog and RMA’s attached fact sheet.  In addition, RMA has released a cost estimator to assist farmers in deciding if WFRP is right for them.

The 2014 Farm Bill mandated the creation of WFRP, but RMA began working on the policy well before the passage of the farm bill. NSAC and several of its member groups, including the Center for Rural Affairs, Kansas Rural Center, National Center for Appropriate Technology, New England Farmers Union, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA, and Wallace Center–Winrock International, played a key role in RMA’s development of this new policy.

“NSAC and its member groups look forward to continuing to work with RMA to expand access to viable insurance options for traditionally underserved portions of agriculture and to continuously improve this policy as it moves through its pilot stage and becomes permanent,” concluded Wolfe.

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NSAC is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to support the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.

 


Categories: Commodity, Crop Insurance & Credit Programs, Farm Bill, General Interest, Press Releases


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