Changes to Whole Farm Revenue insurance could increase access

Farm and Food

By Traci Bruckner, former staff member

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) recently announced expansion of Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) crop insurance to all states and counties. WFRP was first made available for the 2015 crop year, and provides revenue insurance coverage on all of a farmer’s crops and animals under one policy. The policy was previously limited to certain states and counties.
In addition, USDA RMA made some other key changes to the policy that will help break down barriers to access for beginning farmers, integrated crop and livestock producers, and for those who direct market their farm products.
Beginning farmers now only have to show three years of tax records to qualify for WFRP. Previously they had to show five years of records to qualify. This is a positive change that we hope will open the policy to more beginning farmers.
Another important change includes the elimination of the 35 percent limit on expected revenue from animals and animal products, and greenhouse and nursery crops. RMA will leave intact the $1 million cap on revenue from these sources. This is one of the biggest barriers integrated crop and livestock farmers had to accessing WFRP.
Farmers who sell through direct markets will now be allowed to use their existing price records to calculate their revenue during the insurance year. Previously, farmers had to prove their revenue through third-party verified records, which is difficult if not impossible for those farmers who market directly through roadside stands and farmers’ markets.

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