Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) is a pilot crop insurance program for farmers launched in 2015. Since it is relatively new, many people are unclear about how it works. Traditionally, diversified farmers, such as CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farmers, didn’t buy crop insurance because the crops they grew weren’t covered, the paperwork was mountainous, or the coverage amounts were based on wholesale or commodity crop pricing. Crop insurance was also viewed as less crucial to those with diversified farms and direct-market sales because they are exposed to less single-crop risk and they can sell their products for higher prices.
In 2003 the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) implemented a pilot program for diversified farmers called the Adjusted Gross Revenue Program (AGR and AGR-Lite), but participation was low. In recent years, sustainable ag groups, like NSAC, saw this gap and collaborated with RMA to develop a better option. In late 2014, the USDA rolled out a new insurance option, WFRP, to reach small and diversified growers. CSA, farmers market, and wholesale producers can be covered under this insurance plan. In fact, it was created with those groups in mind. And it isn’t just for crops— it applies to dairy and meat farmers, too!
Whole Farm Revenue Protection is subsidized to be affordable, and an individual farm’s diversification raises the level of subsidy available. The more commodities you produce, the bigger the discount. Farmers base their insured revenue on their own previous sales records, so the farmer is able to set the value of their crop to reflect their operation. WFRP is administered by RMA and sold and serviced by private insurance agents. Also, if you're considering FSA loans, WFRP will meet the FSA insurance requirement.
The Ag-Analytics.Org Team at Cornell has worked to create an online tool that helps farmers compare estimates of premiums, levels of coverage, and "what-if" indemnity payments. In order to buy insurance, you’ll have to speak with a crop insurance agent.
If WFRP is a good fit for your farm, there's still time to sign up for 2017! The final day to sign up for WFRP for the 2017 crop year is March 15th. If it isn't a good fit, please help us understand what needs to be changed to make it more helpful. Are you having a hard time understanding how WFRP works? Are there barriers that keep you from using it? Are the premiums or the payouts too confusing? We want to help you understand this option, and provide you with information so you can figure out if it is a good fit for your farm. Please contact Joshua Woodard at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a crop insurance feedback
This article is a part of the activities of the New York Crop Insurance Education and Risk Management Project, which is managed by Cornell University in partnership with the USDA Risk Management Agency to deliver crop insurance education in New York State.