New Whole-Farm Crop Insurance Provides Options for Organic Farmers and Ranchers

A new type of crop insurance, Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, may better serve highly diversified organic crop and livestock producers than traditional crop insurance policies. Rather than covering losses of a particular crop, Whole-Farm Revenue Protection covers all crops and livestock produced on a single farm.

In response to suggestions made by CCOF’s partner organizations, the Organic Trade Association and its Farmers Advisory Council and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) made a number of changes to the program since its initial release in 2015 to make it more useful to beginning farmers and ranchers, livestock producers, and operations experiencing growth.

Such changes include:

  • Farms that have been in operation for three years are eligible for coverage, rather than the five years originally proposed.
  • Recordkeeping requirements for farmers who sell direct to the public are streamlined to make it easier to document crop values.
  • Producers can now insure up to $1 million worth of animals and animal products.
  • RMA increased the cap on historical revenue for expanding operations from 10%-35% to provide better coverage for farms that are growing.

The policy covers up to $8.5 million in farm or ranch revenues.

Signups will begin September 1, 2015. Closing dates vary by county.

Read the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s detailed blog entry on Whole-Farm Revenue Protection for more information. The RMA webpage for the program links to many useful resources, and the official RMA press release on Whole-Farm Revenue Protection may also be helpful.

Crop insurance is sold only by private crop insurance agents. To find one in your area, visit this Crop Insurance Agent Locator website.