WASHINGTON – The US Department of Agriculture is rolling out a new insurance option specifically for smallholder farm producers who sell locally. The new Micro Farm policy simplifies record keeping and covers post-production costs like washing and value-added products.
USDA’s risk management agency created this new policy based on research led by the 2018 Farm Bill, and it includes feedback from growers who farm for their local communities. The policy will be available from the 2022 crop year.
âWe are delighted to offer this new coverage to producers who strive to provide their communities with fresh and healthy food,â said Richard Flournoy, Interim Administrator of RMA. âThe USDA is focused on supporting local and regional food systems, and this new crop insurance policy is designed with this important sector of agriculture in mind. “
The new policy is delivered through farm-wide income protection and has separate provisions that may provide better access to the program, including:
No expense or individual product report required, simplifying record keeping requirements for producers
Revenues from post-production costs, such as washing and packaging products and value-added products, are considered eligible revenues.
The Micro Farm policy is available to producers who have a farming operation that earns an average qualifying income of $ 100,000 or less, or for deferral policyholders, an average qualifying income of $ 125,000 or less. RMA research has shown that 85% of producers who sell locally reported gross sales of less than $ 75,000.
The micro-farm policy builds on other RMA efforts to better serve growers of specialty and organic crops. This includes the WFRP, which provides coverage to producers with larger farms who may not be eligible for Micro Farm. RMA recently made improvements to WFRP as part of a larger set of new and expanded policies to help growers of specialty and organic crops.
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation approved the micro-farm policy at the end of September, and more details will be provided later this fall.
Crop insurance is sold and provided only 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 rma.usda.gov.