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Dirt Under Your Nails

Small farms, local foods, alternative agriculture, acreages, sustainability

Pilot crop insurance program for specialty crops and diversified farms

You probably already know that most conventional farmers purchase crop insurance to manage the risk that they face in planting and growing a crop each year...especially things like drought, flood, hail, and devastating pests or pathogens.  They have many policies and products to choose from.
However, farmers in who grow "unconventional" crops or sell through non-commodity markets tend to have fewer, if any, options for insurance, depending on their crops, their farming history, and their location.  Most growers can consider the Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), which is a baseline disaster assistance program for non-insurable crops, and some growers can utilize Adjusted Gross Revenue-Lite (AGR-Lite), but it is not available in every state.
However, the USDA has recently announced the creation of a pilot program entitled Whole Farm Revenue Protection, which will provide flexible coverage options for specialty crop, organic and diversified crop producers.  USDA says:
"Whole-Farm insurance allows farmers to insure all crops on their farm at once, rather than insuring commodity by commodity. Traditionally, many fruit and vegetable crops have not had crop insurance programs designed for them—making it less attractive for a farmer that primarily planted a commodity crop like wheat or corn to use another part of his or her land for growing fruits and vegetables or other specialty crops. This allows farmers greater flexibility to make planting decisions on their land."
"The new Whole-Farm Revenue Protection policy combines Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) and AGR-Lite along with several improvements to target diversified farms and farms selling two to five commodities, including specialty crops to wholesale markets. The new policy is also designed to meet the risk management needs of diversified crop or livestock producers including those growing specialty crops and/or selling to local and regional markets, farm identity preserved markets, or direct markets."
Check out this USDA news release for more details.

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