Managing risk is a critical decision for any farm business. An upcoming field day in Polk County in central Iowa will give producers the chance to learn more about the new Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) crop insurance program as a risk management tool, especially suited for diversified crop and livestock producers.
The event is set for Saturday, August 1, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, at New Family Farm, at 12850 NE 64th St., Elkhart, Iowa. It will feature a presentation by Jeff Schahczenski, Agriculture Policy and Funding Research Director for the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Producer Tony Thompson, owner/manager of New Family Farm, will also speak and lead the group on a tour. Light refreshments will be provided.
New Family Farm, near Elkhart and northeast of Ankeny, is a CSA farm that has been in existence since 2014, raising vegetables and eggs. The farm is located on the family’s century farm and is dedicated to sustainable practices.
Farm manager and owner Tony Thompson says, “I am very interested to learn more about risk-management options appropriate to diversified operations like mine. I look forward to learning more about WFRP along with our visitors and welcoming everyone to see our farm.”
The event is part of the “Shop Talk” series of educational events sponsored by the Iowa Farmers Union. Advance registration for the field day is encouraged: You can register online at https://www.ncat.org/events/, or contact Deborah Bunka, firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-451-8492, by Monday, July 27.
WFRP crop insurance, created under the 2014 Farm Bill, offers a higher premium subsidy for diversified and specialty crops than previous crop insurance products. Producers can choose coverage levels from 50 to 85 percent, similar to the levels provided for standard commodity crop policies.
Iowa and Midwest producers had their first chance to sign up for the new WFRP in early 2015. Only a small number of producers in this region opted to participate. Numbers were much greater in other areas, where similar products have been available prior to the new WFRP crop insurance program.
“We want to make sure that Midwestern farmers have the best information to consider this new program that expands insurance options for diversified crop and livestock producers, and those who want to grow specialty or organic crops,” says Schahczenski.
More information about this event and WFRP can be found at www.ncat.org/midwest. Details on the WFRP pilot program are also available on the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) website at www.rma.usda.gov. All federal crop insurance is sold solely through Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs), who are required to offer the WFRP pilot program to all eligible persons in the pilot area. The signup deadline has already passed for the 2015 crop year. Signups for 2016 are expected to begin in August 2015. Producers are encouraged to contact a crop insurance agent if they want to consider this new option for the future.
The field day is made possible with the help of a Risk Management Education Partnership cooperative agreement through the USDA RMA. The parties involved are equal opportunity providers.