We’ve compiled a range of resources on crop insurance that are relevant to Massachusetts farmers.
Overview and Background Information
The USDA provides for several types of insurance that can be of value to Massachusetts farmers.
1) Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP)
This new insurance option is especially well-suited for farms that are diversified and use a point-of-sale system to track product sales. Whole Farm Revenue Protection allows growers to protect up to 85% of their expected income for all the crops and livestock grown or raised on their single farm – not just for a specific crop. Up to 80% of the premium may be paid by the government, and the insurance provides growers with protection from low yield, declining market prices during the insurance year, or other unavoidable threats to their revenue. Insurance must be purchased through an insurance agent. Find details here and contact an agent as soon as possible if you would like more information. Whole Farm Revenue Protection was included in the 2014 Farm Bill and improves on the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) policies.
2) Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)
NAP Insurance is available through local Farm Service Agency offices. Growers may purchase up to 65% yield protection and 100% price coverage on almost all commercially produced agricultural crops for which traditional crop insurance is not available. This includes crops grown for food, forage crops, mushrooms, floriculture, honey, maple syrup, Christmas trees, ginseng, nursery, biomass, etc. (check with FSA for exact eligibility). Catastrophic coverage for beginning farmers, women, limited resource, and social disadvantaged farmers is available at no cost with buy-up coverage at a reduced rate (less than three cents for each dollar of protection). Deadline is 11/20/14 for perennial crops, and 3/15/15 for other crops. Note: there is a one-time extension for perennial crops to enroll in buy-up NAP for up to 60 days after the currently pending federal register notice is published.
3) Crop specific insurance
Traditional crop insurance covers several major crops in our region such as apples. Find an insurance agent to see if these programs are a good fit for your farm. (note: to find an agent at this link, you must click on “Show Filters,” set the default distance field to “No Limit,” and set the “Licensed In” field to your county).
2015 Fact Sheets
The Dairy Margin Protection Program offers dairy producers: (1) catastrophic coverage, at no cost to the producer, other than an annual $100 administrative fee; and (2) various levels of buy-up coverage.
The USDA Risk Management Agency has gathered resources on crop insurance available to organic farmers. RMA offers coverage for certified organic acreage, transitional acreage, and buffer zone acreage.
Improvements for Beginning, Limited Resource, and Socially Disadvantaged Farms
See details on new benefits for beginning farmers (less than 10 years), farmers with limited resources, micro-loans from the FSA, and more. See a press release on these changes here.