Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

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June 13, 2014

Risk management option available

A new risk management option will be available for fruit and vegetable growers and producers with diversified farms, according to Tom Vilsack, United States Department of Agriculture secretary.

The policy, called Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, will provide flexible coverage options for specialty crop, organic and diversified crop producers. The program will be implemented in counties across the country and will expand in availability over the next several years.

Whole-Farm insurance allows farmers to insure all crops on their farm at once, rather than insuring commodity by commodity.

Traditionally, many fruit and vegetable crops have not had crop insurance programs designed for them, making it less attractive for a farmer that primarily planted a commodity crop like wheat or corn to use another part of his or her land for growing fruits and vegetables or other specialty crops. T

“Crop insurance has been the linchpin of the farm safety net for years and continues to grow as the single most important factor in protecting producers of all sizes from the effects of unpredictable weather,” said Vilsack. “Providing farmers the option to insure their whole farm at once gives farmers more flexibility, promotes crop diversity and helps support the production of healthy fruits and vegetables. More flexibility also empowers farmers and ranchers to make a broader range of decisions with their land, helping them succeed and strengthening our agriculture economy.”

The 2014 Farm Bill requires a whole-farm crop insurance policy option and paves the way for the Risk Management Agency to make it broadly available to specialty crop, organic and diversified growers.

USDA has taken many steps to provide effective insurance coverage for diversified, organic and specialty crops. The whole-farm crop insurance policy provides flexibility to meet the needs of specialty crop growers, organic producers and those with diversified farms, and who have farm production and revenue history, including five years of historic farm tax records.

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