Agricultural producers with small-scale farms who sell locally can now get simplified insurance coverage through a new policy designed for their needs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture developed the new Micro Farm policy, which simplifies recordkeeping and covers post-production costs like washing and value-added products.
“USDA is focused on supporting local and regional food systems, and Micro Farm is one more example of how we’re helping agricultural producers with farms of all shapes and sizes to manage their unique operations and risk,” said Marcia Bunger, Administrator for USDA’s Risk Management Agency. “The Risk Management Agency values collaboration and feedback from our customers, and Micro Farm is one way we’re responding to producers’ needs.”
Micro Farm is offered through Whole-Farm Revenue Protection and is geared to local producers. Details include:
- Eligibility: Micro Farm is available to producers who have a farm operation that earns an average allowable revenue of $100,000 or less, or for carryover insureds, an average allowable revenue of $125,000 or less. The increase in allowable revenue for a carry-over insured will allow for some farm growth in subsequent years before they become ineligible for the program. RMA’s research showed that 85% of producers who sell locally reported they made less than $75,000 in gross sales.
- Coverage Levels: All coverage levels will be available to producers using Micro Farm. This will enable producers to purchase the 80% and 85% coverage levels without providing additional paperwork.
- Underwriting and Recordkeeping Requirements: Micro Farm minimizes underwriting and recordkeeping requirements, and producers will not have to report expenses and individual commodities.
- Post-production Revenue: Producers can include post-production activities as revenue, such as washing and packaging commodities or value-added products like jam.
Micro Farm is available for the 2022 crop year. Sales closing dates are Jan. 31, 2022, Feb. 28, 2022, or March 15, 2022, depending on the producer’s county. Producers with crops insured under another crop insurance policy or a vertically integrated operation will not be eligible.
This new policy derived from research directed by the 2018 Farm Bill, and it includes feedback from producers who grow for their local communities. See the full report here.
Specialty and Organic Crops
The Micro Farm policy builds on other RMA efforts to better serve specialty and organic crop growers. This includes WFRP, which provides coverage for producers with larger operations that may not be eligible for Micro Farm. RMA recently made. RMA recently made improvements to WFRP as part of a broader set of new policies and expanded policies to assist specialty crop and organic producers.
Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at here.