Crop Insurance for the Organic FarmerAGR-Lite Insurance | Other Insurance | Key Points | Resources | States with Coverage
The federal crop insurance program was designed to help farmers recover some portion of expected income in the advent of a crop loss or failure. As wholesale-scale organic vegetable farmer Atina Diffley notes (to your right), crop insurance helps even out annual income and can reduce the stress of worrying about possible losses.
The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University has released a paper on organic crop insurance, including finding from analyses conducted on organic crop prices, yields, and revenues. The full report is available here.
"Having AGR-Lite insurance revolutionized our farm planning and management and drastically reduced our financial risks. We no longer need to tiptoe through the majority of the season until the books finally say we've successfully gotten through the danger zone, only to go back on tiptoe again a month later as the money flow reverses out for the next seasons start-up."|
Organic Vegetable Farmer
Gardens of Eagan, Farmington, MN.
Other Kinds of Federal Crop Insurance|
Organic farmers may choose to insure their crops using one of the other Federal Crop Insurance offerings. However, as of now, indemnities (compensations) are based on conventional rather than organic prices. Hopefully at some point in the future organic premiums will be recognized. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has for the past year been collecting data on organic prices, yield and loss experience in a move to eventually develop an actuarially sound crop insurance system for organic production. As with AGR-Lite, insurable damage caused by insects, disease or weeds is covered if recognized organic farming practices fail to provide effective control. Premiums for crop insurance on organic lands are an average of 5% higher than those for conventional crops due to a presumption of additional risks involved with organic production.
Currently RMA provides crop insurance coverage for:
Contamination on certified, transitional or buffer land due to drift or application of prohibited substances is not considered an insured loss. Any loss due to failure to comply with the organic standards is considered an uninsured cause of loss.A few key points to using Federal Crop Insurance
Resources for Crop Insurance for organic systems:Crop Insurance for Organic Systems (MOSES Fact Sheet)
Organic Farming Practices: Insurance Fact Sheet (USDA- Risk Management Agency)
Adjusted Gross Revenue-Lite: Fact Sheet (USDA- Risk Management Agency)
The Price of a Good Night's Sleep: Why AGR-Lite insurance is in the
Gardens of Eagan farm budget
(Organic Broadcaster Article)
The AGR Program: Crop Insurance for Diversified Agriculture
Crop Insurance for Organic Farmers in Pennsylvania (Newsletter from PA Dept of Ag)
List of Independent Insurance Agents selling Federal Crop Insurance policies
AL, AK, AZ, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, KS, ME, MD, MA, MN, MT, NV, NH, NJ, MN, NY, NC, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, W-VA, WI & WY. Other states have expressed interest in participation but no expansion is planned at this time.
Thanks to RMA for their support with this project.