2018-09-14 By Patricia G. Lewis
The rise of crop insurance in the U.S. has aided many farmers in protecting their livelihood. Insuring a crop to protect loss of revenue is both beneficial and mandated. Still, many producers do not take part either because of cost or availability. For some it is because there is not coverage for their specific crop. This crop could be apples grown in a county with not apple provision, or specialty seed that no one has generated a plan for. Other produces grow more than one crop and have difficulty insuring each one individually. Such problems require unique solutions to help those affected, which is why a special plan has been created.
What is WFRP?
Whole-Farm Revenue Protection is an insurance plan that covers all commodities a farm produces. Instead of having multiple tiny policies, everything gets wrapped up into one plan. WFRP is designed to protect farms producing commodities not available in other plans. This includes non-applicable crops, specialty crops, and even livestock. WFRP plans also focus on farms dealing in organic crops, and ones that sell to direct markets. Mainly these examples are crops that do not garner good enough revenue for coverage based on county-specific mandates. Generally, crop insurance deals with high-yield crops. Such crops fluctuate from county to county. Corn may be big in one are but virtually non-existent in others.
The best part of WFRP is that it is available in all counties across the nation. The fact that certain crops lose out because the specific county bears no coverage has been fixed to. WFRP is meant to be a problem solver, so it focuses on all problems including availability. In fact, WFRP plans award diversification in crop production, which may very well spur farms to take on other crops. This also means that more farms will seek out specialty crops. Before WFRP protection such farms may have stayed away due to the risk being too high, but now they confidently experiment without fear of blow back. Crop insurance agents like the plan because as it brings in new customers.
The Fine Print
WFRP coverage will provide for 50%-85% of expected revenue. This is the factored amount of profit a farmer will make if able to take his product to market. Such a number is based on lots of facts and backed up statistics. If a product is damaged than the insurance company covers what the farmer would make allowing them to recoup expenses. Farms have to meet criteria to be eligible for a plan like WFRP. If your farm generates just one particular crop that is already covered the plan may not be available.
The amount a farm is covered for is based on the entire farm’s revenue. They look at the farm’s average for five prior years of operation, and/or the revenue projected from yield and expected price. In any case documentation is needed like tax forms. It is a bit complicated but creates a safer environment for farms.