USDA Expands Whole Farm Revenue Protection, Micro Farm Insurance Plans

September 14, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced changes to the Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) and Micro Farm Insurance plans in an effort to increase participation and access to crop insurance for producers of specialty crops.

Improvements to WFRP for the 2024 policy year include allowing all eligible producers to qualify for 80% and 85% coverage levels. Producers will be allowed to purchase catastrophic coverage level policies for individual crops with WFRP.

Other changes to WFRP include:

  • Expanding yield history to a 10-year maximum (from 4 years) for all crops not covered by another federal crop insurance policy.
  • Making the policy more affordable for single commodity producers.
  • Allowing producers to customize their coverage by choosing whether WFRP will consider other federal crop insurance policies as primary insurance when calculating premium and revenue to count during claim time.

Improvements to Micro Farm for the 2024 policy year include:

  • Moving the sales closing date to a less busy time of year to help agents dedicate time to marketing the program. This is important specifically for producers that are purchasing Micro Farm for the first time as it provides additional time for agents to assist growers with important risk management decisions.
  • Allowing producers to purchase other Federal crop insurance with Micro Farm.
  • Allowing vertically integrated entities to be eligible for Micro Farm.
  • Making the Expanding Operations feature available with Micro Farm.

WFRP and Micro Farm policies are two of the most comprehensive risk management plans available, said Marcia Bunger, administrator for RMA. Both insurance plans were designed to meet the needs of specialty, organic (both crops and livestock), or those marketing to local, regional, farm-identity preserved, specialty, or direct markets.

“The improvements to Whole Farm Revenue Protection and Micro Farm policies are a direct response from feedback we’ve received from producers,” Bunger said.

Producers hold more than 1,700 WFRP policies covering $2.17 billion in liabilities, and they hold 93 Micro Farm policies covering $6.15 million in liabilities.

2022 marked a record year for crop insurance indemnities, according to an analysis by Environmental Working Group, a non-profit environmental research organization. More than $19.1 billion in indemnities were paid to farmers for reductions in crop yield or revenue.

Between 2001 to 2022, approximately three-fourths of all indemnity payments nationally went to farms growing one or more of just four crops: corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton, EWG researchers found.

Photo: Specialty crops (RMA)

Topics Profit Loss Agribusiness

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.