WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is introducing new insurance options, especially for agricultural growers who sell local produce, including small farms. The new microfarm policy simplifies record keeping and includes post-production costs such as washing and value-added products.
The USDA’s Risk Management Agency has developed this new policy based on research based on the 2018 Farm Bill and includes feedback from growing growers for their local community. The policy will be available from the crop year of 2022.
RMA Acting Administrator Richard Flournoy said, “We look forward to offering this new coverage to producers who work to provide fresh and healthy food to their community. “The USDA’s focus is on supporting local and regional food systems, and this new crop insurance policy is designed with this important sector of agriculture in mind.”
The new policy is provided by full-farm revenue protection and has separate provisions that may provide more access to the program, including:
No expense or personal item reporting is required, simplifying recordkeeping requirements for manufacturers
Revenue from post-production costs such as washing and packaging commodities and value-added products is considered acceptable revenue.
The Micro Farm policy is available to producers who have farm operations that earn an average allowable income of $ 100,000 or less, or for insured carriers, an average allowable income of $ 125,000 or less. RMA research found that 85% of manufacturers who sell locally make less than $ 75,000 in total sales.
The micro farm strategy is based on other RMA efforts to provide better service to specialized and organic crop growers. This includes WFRP, which provides manufacturers with coverage for large operations that may not qualify for micro farms. The RMA recently revised the WFRP as part of a wider set of new policies and expanded strategies to help specialty crop and organic growers.
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation approved the micro farm policy at the end of September, and additional details will be provided later.
Crop insurance is only sold and distributed by private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available online at all USDA Service Centers and RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern agricultural safety net at Rma.usda.gov.
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