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Keep Up-to-Date on Key Crop Insurance Programs and Deadlines

by Noah Lakritz |

Organic producers can benefit from several crop insurance policies developed by USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) and purchased from local farm insurance agents. Crop insurance programs have become better suited to the needs of organic producers in recent years, with policies that allow producers to structure their policies based on their farms’ unique conditions.

Organic Premium Price Elections now allow organic producers to hold crop insurance based on the price premium they would see in the market rather than the conventional commodity price. The number of crops with Organic Price Premiums has risen steadily in the past decade. This type of insurance is now available for 79 crops. Up-to-date sales and closing deadlines for California crops are located on the RMA’s California website under “Important Dates.” May 31, 2019 is the last date to buy or change policies for potatoes. 

The Contract Price Addendum (CPA) allows producers to use a contract price from a written contract with a buyer to set their insurance policy. This allows producers to purchase a crop insurance guarantee that is more reflective of the actual value of their crop. Crops that are transitioning to organic may also qualify for CPA.

The Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) Plan rewards farmers with who diversify their risks by growing multiple crops in their operation. Farms producing two or more commodities can qualify for a premium rate discount. Organic producers are in a great position to take advantage of WFRP as diversification is a key part of most organic systems. For producers who file taxes on a fiscal year basis and have a fiscal year beginning September 1 or later, the sales closing date for WFRP is November 20. 

Producers who are not eligible for crop insurance coverage can still protect themselves from natural disasters through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP). NAP allows farmers to cover 50 to 65 percent of their expected production at 100 percent of the average market price. Socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers or ranchers are eligible for a waiver of the NAP service fee, as well as a premium reduction. Producers have a one-time opportunity until May 24, 2019 to obtain coverage for 2019 or 2020 crops, as the initial application period has already passed. 

For more information, visit the following websites, contact your insurance agent, or find a local agent online via the RMA Agent Locator

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