Sign-up deadline approaches to insure diverse crops

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By Anna Johnson
Policy Manager
Center for Rural Affairs

Farmers face risk from a variety of sources – weather, disease, markets, financial systems.
While crop insurance offers a valuable option for many farmers to manage some of that risk, some crops, such as many organic, small grain, fruit, and vegetable crops, as well as livestock, cannot be covered by traditional crop insurance in most Midwest counties.
For farmers seeking to diversify their incomes, trying to incorporated these crops into their rotations and operations might seem appealing. But, without clear crop insurance options, many farmers are not willing to take on that additional risk.
A federal crop insurance product available now, however, makes taking on that risk easier.
Whole Farm Revenue Protection is available nationally and can be purchased in addition to other federal crop insurance products. As a federal crop insurance product, insurance premiums are subsidized.
Another improvement involves how a farm’s historic revenue is calculated. In order to enroll, farmers work with their insurance agent and provide five years of revenue records to determine their expected level of revenue in the coming year. The U. S. Department of Agriculture now allows farmers to drop the lowest year of revenue from the last five years in making that calculation, so the coverage they purchase for the coming year is no artificially low.
The deadline to purchase a policy is March 15. Farmers and ranchers should contact a crop insurance agent soon to learn more.