WASHINGTON — Following approval by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) Board in June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced important changes to the Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) policy for the 2020 crop insurance year (which begins this month). The changes include several recommendations that were originally submitted to the agency by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) in April. In response to these WFRP policy changes, NSAC released the following statement from Interim Policy Director Juli Obudzinski:
“Adequate risk protection for diversified operations has long been a priority for NSAC, and we are pleased to see approval for important policy changes that will strengthen and add flexibility to WFRP. NSAC helped to secure WFRP’s inclusion in the 2014 Farm Bill, and we have continued to work closely with RMA to ensure that the program is tailored to best serve farmers for whom standard risk management options are not applicable or appropriate.
The changes announced today will address some of the biggest barriers cited by farmers interested in using program. For example, the option to moderate the impact of disaster years on historic farm revenue – as well as the exclusion of disaster payments and other state and federal program payments from revenue-to-count and allowable revenue – will substantially decrease the risk of underinsuring for producers. These changes also level the playing field between WFRP and other revenue products, making it less likely that farmers would experience unequal treatment under WFRP and subsequently abandon the program.
Additionally, increasing the livestock cap will allow more integrated grain-livestock and dairy farms to utilize WFRP by allowing producers to utilize WFRP and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) together. Used in concert, WFRP and NAP will provide producers with significantly better risk management options.”
Since 2014, WFRP has offered a unique, revenue-based coverage option to farmers that allows them to insure the total revenue of their operation, while also encouraging risk-reducing production diversification. Though we are encouraged by the improvements announced today, there are still more changes that must be made for WFRP to reach its full potential. NSAC looks forward to working with the agency to integrate the additional, necessary changes into the policy prior to the 2021 crop insurance year. In the interim, NSAC will work with our members across the country to ensure that farmers are aware of the improvements in place for the coming year. NSAC applauds RMA for continuing to improve WFRP, and for their commitment to support diversified, organic, and other underserved producers.
–National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
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