The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has unveiled plans to introduce Whole-Farm Revenue Protection insurance in every county across the country in 2016.
USDA also intends to make changes to the policy, making the product available to farmers and ranchers with diversified crops, including organic, and fruit and vegetable growers.
USDA agriculture deputy secretary Krysta Harden said: "Whole-Farm Revenue Protection insurance allows producers who have previously had limited access to a risk management safety net, to insure all of the commodities on their farm at once instead of one commodity at a time.
USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) launched the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection pilot program for a majority of counties in the 2015 insurance year.
Claimed to be the first federal crop insurance program, the new program will be available in all counties in the US from 2016 insurance year.
Whole-Farm Revenue Protection comprises broad range of available coverage levels, offering coverage for replanting annual commodities.
It includes provisions that increase coverage for expanding operations and allows the inclusion of market readiness costs in the coverage.
The policy is designed for most farms, including farms with specialty or organic commodities or those marketing to local, regional, farm-identity preserved, specialty, or direct markets. It is said to cover farms or ranches with up to $8.5m in insured revenue.
USDA has made some changes to the program, allowing beginning farmers and ranchers to participate in the program. It reduced the required records from five to three historical years and farming records from the past year.
The new program also allows producers to insure up to $1m worth of animals and animal products. It also increased the cap on historical revenue for expanding operations to 35% from its previous 10% to enable growing farms to cover their growth in the insurance guarantee.
Image: USDA is making the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection insurance available to organic, and fruit and vegetable growers. Photo: courtesy of lobster20/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.