USDA's Risk Management Agency on Thursday released details of the new Whole-Farm Revenue Protection insurance policy, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and intended to help improved coverage for diversified farms and specialty crop growers.
The new policy, available for the 2015 crop year in most states, allows fruit and vegetable growers and organic farmers and ranchers, among others, to insure between 50 to 85% of their whole farm revenue, USDA said.
Whole-Farm Revenue Protection offers farmers the capability of insuring a variety of crops at once instead of one commodity at a time.
"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," RMA Administrator Brandon Willis said in a statement.
While the 2014 Farm Bill appeared to be the beginning of the policy, USDA says RMA began work on the policy before the farm bill was passed.
The policy offers several levels, coverage for replanting, provisions that increase coverage for expanding operations, a higher maximum amount of coverage, and the inclusion of market readiness costs in the coverage, USDA says.
It's intended 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 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.