CROP INSURANCE OPTION ENCOURAGES DIVERSIFICATION

An alternative to traditional farm insurance is catching the attention of the ag community throughout the Midwest. In farming – like investing – diversification is encouraged. But farmers who produce additional crops, like watermelons and sweet corn, have often found insurance to be lacking or nonexistent. A pilot program from the USDA Risk Management Agency, known as Whole Farm Revenue Protection, is helping to change that. Cora Fox with the Center for Rural Affairs says farms with a minimum of three commodities can receive up to 85-percent coverage – and it isn’t only for niche markets and specialty crops.

Fox says diversification has been shown to protect soil, improve water quality, reduce the need for pesticides and cut energy usage.  She adds that she’s hopeful that Whole Farm Revenue Protection will prompt more farmers to diversify their operations.