Whole Farm Revenue Protection was required by the 2014 Farm Bill and developed by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). WFRP will enable producers to insure their crops, livestock, and nursery and greenhouse crops for a revenue loss with a single policy rather than using individual crop policies.
For many specialty crop and diversified producers, individual policies and price elections were not available. This both put producers at a risk management disadvantage but also made it more difficult for these producers to access the credit needed to start and grow their agricultural operation.
In August 2015, the Risk Management Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced historic changes to Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP), including expanded access to beginning farmers and nationwide availability. These changes will be effective starting in the 2016 crop year.
The list of WFRP changes for 2016 includes:
- Expansion to every state and every county. Previously the policy had been available in 45 states and most counties in those states.
- Expanded access for beginning farmers, enabling them to take part if they started farming in 2012 or earlier. The provision allowing coverage for new farmers that take over 90 percent of an existing operation is retained.
- The elimination of the 35 percent limit on expected revenue from animals and animal products, and greenhouse and nursery crops. An overall cap of $1 million on revenue from these sources remains in place.
- The streamlining of record keeping requirements for farmers that market directly to the public, to make the policy more straightforward.
- The ability of farmers to maintain eligibility if a year of tax records is missing as a result of illness or military deployment.
- The ability of tax-exempt organizations, such as tribes, to qualify if they have appropriate records to substitute for tax records.
- Increasing the ability of expanding operations to obtain increased coverage.
Why Are the 2016 Changes So Important?
The first iteration of WFRP expanded the availability and coverage options beyond what AGR and AGR-lite provided. Important changes however, were still needed to open access to beginning farmers and expand access to farms that incorporate livestock into the operation. The changes announced today address both of these needs. The comparative chart below has been updated to show how WFRP in 2016 compares to AGR and AGR-lite.
As the chart indicates, WFRP provides unprecedented access to beginning farmers and livestock farmers.
Farmers interested in signing up for WFRP will have the opportunity beginning September 1, 2015. Farmers will sign up through a local crop insurance agent, who can be found through the USDA. Farmers can begin reviewing further information about by reading the USDA fact sheet about WFRP. RMA has also released a premium calculator to aid producers’ risk management decision-making.
You can also see a 60 minute presentation (about the 2015 version of the policy) featuring RAFI’s James Robinson partners at the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC).
If you have any questions about WFRP, please contact Scott Marlow, Senior Policy Specialist. Email: [email protected]. Tel: (919) 542-1396, x210.