Growers: Take Survey and Help Level the Crop Insurance Playing Field

The National Center for Appropriate Technology is conducting a national survey of needs and attitudes about crop insurance. Confidential and anonymous, the survey takes just 20 minutes on any computer, smart phone, or other mobile device. It’s open to anyone who is farming and ranching commercially in the United States, and you’ll receive a $20 honorarium for your participation. 
 
Take the survey at www.ncat.org/cropinsurance.
 
Background: Organic growers have long had limited crop insurance options, putting them at a disadvantage in relation to conventional farms and discouraging many who would otherwise love to farm organically. The 2014 Farm Bill required the USDA to create new insurance products tailored to the needs of organic farmers. A new insurance product—Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP)—became available nationwide in 2015, allowing growers to insure any combination of commodities (including livestock) under a single policy. Best of all, organic growers can insure the full value of their crops, even if they are getting premium organic or direct-market prices.
 
Sales of WFRP grew to 2,786 policies in 2017, but this is still just a tiny fraction of the farms that are eligible. For example, just 174 policies were sold in all of California. As part of our project Is Organic Farming Risky?, we are looking deeply into grower attitudes, opinions, and experiences with crop insurance. Based on survey results, we’ll make recommendations to the USDA on further improvements to crop insurance for organic, diversified, and specialty crop growers. We need to hear from you.
 
What you can do:
1. Take the survey at www.ncat.org/cropinsurance.
2. Look into Whole-Farm Revenue Protection for your farm or ranch—even if you are small, diversified, or have never purchased crop insurance in your life. Get more information about WFRP.
 
Find more information about the survey, and please participate! Funding is provided by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award #2014-51300-2222.
 
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This article was submitted by Mike Morris.
 
Mike Morris lives and works in San Antonio, Texas, where he is Southwest Director for the National Center for Appropriate Technology. He is directing the USDA-funded research project Is Organic Farming Risky?

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