Sign up For Whole Farm Revenue Protection!
February 15, 2016
March 15 is the deadline for Wisconsin farmers to sign up for USDA’s new risk management program designed for diversified farmers. Historically, farmers have only been able to buy insurance for major commodity crops, but non-commodity crops or those not commonly grown in their area offer lacked insurance coverage. Farmers long frustrated by such traditional crop insurance are now able to enroll in the Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program, which covers risk for an unlimited number of crop and livestock commodities on a farm.
Several years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began experimenting with more flexible programs and after the Farm Bill passed two years ago launched a program that not only provides crop insurance for diversified operations but actually decreases insurance premiums the more commodities a farm has. Available in every county of the nation, WFRP now offers crop insurance for a farm’s entire revenue source, rather than on a crop-by-crop basis, based on the farm’s tax filings over the previous five years. The program allows fewer number of tax years of records for beginning farmers.
The program has relevance for a wide range of farm types. Direct-marketing fresh fruit and vegetable farms, who have rarely qualified for crop insurance, not only can be eligible, but the Department created more flexible record-keeping requirements this year for such farmers. Similarly, organic farmers can get insurance for the actual price they have been receiving for their crops and livestock, and specialty crop growers who’ve struggled to get coverage on all the crops they grow may find this program suited to their needs. Dairy and Livestock farmers, except for people raising animals for pets, also can qualify.
What risks does WFRP cover? The program offers protection against market changes as well as natural disasters – most losses, in fact, except those that were the result of negligence or human error.
It’s not hard to apply; most of the records are already in farmers’ tax records. But it’s crucial to apply for 2016 enrollment before March 15!
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, MOSES (Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services) and Great American Insurance Company have been presenting webinars and workshops on this program over the past two months. Our last workshop before the March 15 sign-up deadline will be held at the MOSES conference on Friday, February 26. To see our webinar or see fact sheets about WFRP, go to https://michaelfields.org/whole-farm-revenue-protection-webinar-2/
Farmers interested in Whole Farm Revenue Protection should quickly contact their crop insurance agent or find one at http://www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agent.html . For more information about the program, go to Risk Management Agency’s website on WFRP at http://www.rma.usda.gov/policies/wfrp.html
Image Credit – NRCS Oregon – Flickr Creative Commons