August 19, 2015
Senior Policy Specialist
Tel: (919) 542-1396, x210
RMA Moves to Increase Beginning Farmer and Livestock Farmer Access to Whole Farm Revenue Protection
Last week, USDA’s Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) approved changes to Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) that will increase access to the program for beginning farmers and livestock farmers. These changes will be effective starting in the 2016 crop insurance year. “WFRP allows farmers to insure the revenue of the whole farm rather than insuring revenue on a crop-by-crop basis, which makes the program a good option for farms that manage risk through crop and livestock diversification,” says James Robinson, Research and Policy Associate at the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA.
In previous years, WFRP required farmers to provide five years of federal tax forms as part of the application process. Farmers will now only be required to provide three years of federal tax forms, making the program available sooner to beginning farmers. “Requiring five years of tax records was a significant barrier for beginning farmers in need of a federal risk management program. Reducing the requirement to three years is a strong move in support of beginning farmers,” says Robinson.
In 2015, WFRP capped livestock income at 35 percent of a farmer’s total revenue, eliminating farmers from eligibility who earn more than 35 percent of their total revenue from livestock. In 2016, the 35 percent cap will be removed entirely so that a farmer making any amount of revenue from livestock up to $1 million will be eligible. Additional positive program changes include increasing coverage options for expanding operations and expanding eligibility to farmers with a missing year of tax history as the result of physical disabilities. USDA will release additional details about these changes later this year.