Insurance agent encourages producers to explore new micro farm policy
A crop agency manager with COUNTRY Financial is encouraging specialty crop ad small farmers to explore options through USDA’s new micro farm insurance program.
Doug Yoder tells Brownfield this crop insurance tool, available for 2022, is directed toward specialty crop producers and micro farms that make $100,000 or less annually to protect against a drop in revenue like yield or price.
“There is not any other protection out there to my knowledge for specialty crop producers- there is some grant money I know, but this is the only true risk management tool I am aware of. So, I am hoping that over time we will get enough usage that we can learn from it and continue to lobby for improvements to truly protect those operations.”
He says while whole farm revenue protection policies have been around for a while, they are not widely utilized on smaller operations, and this was created with those producers in mind.
“It takes an average of your previous three years of revenue on that farm. They then use that to determine how much guarantee you can get for this growing season and then the farmer has the choice of anywhere from 50% of that guarantee up to 85%, in 5% increments.”
Like with any new policy, Yoder says there will be a learning curve for producers and insurance agents.
“When you look at whole farm policy, the entire state of Illinois only purchased 12 policies last year, so there is definitely going to be a learning curve for agents on this new product as well.”
He says even if producers choose not to purchase the insurance, their input is welcome to help improve the policy. Sales closing dates are January 31st, February 28th or March 15th depending on the producer’s county.
Brownfield interviewed Yoder at the Illinois Specialty Crop Conference in Springfield last week.