NCAT crop insurance expert to update IFU members on new program for Iowa

Whole Farm Revenue Protection Coming in 2015: A New Concept for Iowa Producers will be a featured topic at this year’s convention of the Iowa Farmers Union in Des Moines. The WFRP presentation by Jeff Schahczenski, Agriculture Policy and Funding Research Director for NCAT, will be Friday, October 31, from 2:15-3:15 p.m.

The Farmers Union conference will be October 31-November 1 at the Hotel Ft. Des Moines. Find out more about the schedule, or register, at http://iowafarmersunion.org/2014convention/.

Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, or WFRP, required by the 2014 Farm Bill, will be offered for the first time as a pilot program in Iowa in 2015 through the Risk Management Agency (RMA)-managed federal crop insurance program. The new policy will expand insurance options for specialty crop, organic, and diversified crop producers. This new product will replace previous whole farm revenue insurance products, Adjusted Gross-Revenue (AGR) and Adjusted Gross Revenue Lite (AGR-Lite). The new policy will offer a whole-farm premium subsidy to farms with two or more commodities that is the same as those provided for single crop policies, as long as minimum diversification requirements are met. This will provide diversified farms a higher premium subsidy than previously available. The coverage levels can range anywhere from 50 to 85 percent, depending on what producers feel is appropriate for their businesses.

“We have been working on whole farm revenue crop insurance for over seven years, and created with RMA assistance, the AGR-Lite Wizard which has helped many diversified farmers explore the benefits of this very unique type of crop insurance,” says Schahczenski.  Schahczenski is the author of “Crop Insurance Options for Specialty, Diversified, and Organic Farmers,” an NCAT-ATTRA publication published in 2012.

NCAT’s Midwest Regional Office was awarded a Risk Management Education Partnership cooperative agreement through the RMA. NCAT will be collaborating with the Iowa Farmers Union, the Iowa Organic Association, Practical Farmers of Iowa and the Midwest Sustainable and Organic Education Service (MOSES) to educate producers in Iowa and the Midwest about this new crop insurance option, as well as other topics related to managing production and economic risks.

More information about the WFRP pilot program will be available mid-November on the RMA website at www.rma.usda.gov.   All federal crop insurance is sold solely through private crop insurance agents and producers should contact their agents if they are considering this new way to insure their crop and livestock products. The parties involved are an equal opportunity provider.

NCAT is a non-profit which champions small-scale, local, and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities, and protect natural resources. Since 1915, Iowa Farmers Union members have worked together to strengthen the independent family farm through education, legislation and cooperation. This work will provide Iowans with sustainable production, safe food, a clean environment and healthy communities.

 

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