USDA Discloses Subsidies on Whole Farm Insurance
Groups that advocate for sustainable agriculture welcomed an announcement late Friday by USDA’s Risk Management Agency of subsidy rates for a new whole-farm level crop insurance that was included in the 2014 Farm Bill.
The subsidy levels established for the new Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) crop insurance policy will be in line with the premium subsidies available to producers selecting whole-farm units under the Revenue Protection plans of insurance, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition said in a press release.
If a farmer has two or more crops and meets the minimum diversification requirement they will receive the higher premium subsidy.
“This is an important step to level the playing field for diversified farmers,” the group said. “Until now, farmers purchasing the previous AGR and AGR-Lite policies have had the lower basic subsidy rate available, regardless of the number of commodities insured. Now, with today’s announcement, those purchasing WRFP (the successor to AGR and AGR-Lite) and meeting the diversification requirements for two commodities, will be eligible for the higher whole-farm subsidy levels available on Revenue Protection products.”
On coverage options between 50 and 75 percent, the new subsidy rate will be 80 percent. As with other individual crop policies, the subsidy level declines at the highest coverage levels.
WFRP will have an increased liability limit ($8.5 million, compared to AGR’s $6.5 million and AGR-Lite’s $1 million), will offer higher levels of coverage (up to 85 percent), and will include a premium discount for increased crop diversification.
It is also expected to cover incidental costs that are necessary to make a product ready for market, such as washing, trimming, and packaging.
The 2014 Farm Bill authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop WFRP in time for the 2015 crop year.
According to the RMA announcement, the new Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Policy will be offered as a pilot program for the 2015 insurance year. More information, including availability of the new policy, will be available mid-November on the RMA website.