Farm Bill Improvements for Beginning, Limited Resource and Traditionally Underserved Farmers
Crop Insurance — From Crop Insurance Agents through the USDA Risk Management Agency
- More protection choices
- Improved organic protection
- Organic elections availability for more crops
- Extended organic price coverage for 2014 to eight additional crops (oats, peppermint, apricots, apples, blueberries, almonds, pears, and grapes for juice) to a total of sixteen. (Producer has the option of using organic or conventional prices.)
- RMA has removed the 5% premium surcharge for organic price options.
- New benefits for beginning farmers (first 5 years of insurable crops)
- Additional 10 percentage points of premium subsidy for additional coverage policies (buy-up) that have premium subsidy
- Exemption from paying the administrative fee for catastrophic (CAT) and additional coverage (buy-up) level policies
- Use of the production history of farming operations, if beginning farmers were previously involved in the decision making or physical activities
- An increase in the substituted yield for yield adjustment, which allows a replacement of a low yield due to an insured cause of loss, from 60% to 80% of the applicable transitional yield (T-Yield) for the crop in the county
- Benefit for farmers with limited resources — The administrative fee will be waived if you request it and if you qualify as a limited resource farmer (as defined by USDA).
- Improved whole farm revenue protection — Features include the following
- Covers all farm commodities including animal and animal products revenue including commodities purchased for resale (limit up to 50% of total expected revenue). (No protection for timber forest, forest products, and animals for sport, show or pets.)
- Coverage levels from 50% to 85% of expected revenue (Covers minimum market readiness costs.)
- Covers natural causes of loss and declining market prices within the insurance year
- Premium subsidies vary from 55% to 80%.
- Opportunity to also purchase Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) buy-up policies for selected individual crops
Noninsurable Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) — from the USDA Farm Service Agency
- Improved NAP — Up to 65% coverage level and 100% of the established price for most non-insurable crops
- New benefits for beginning farmers
- A farmer or rancher entity or joint operation, who has not actively operated and managed a farm or ranch for more than 10 years, and materially and substantially participates in the operation. For legal entities to be considered a beginning farmer or rancher, all members must be related by blood or marriage and all the members must be beginning farmers or ranchers.
- The NAP administrative fees do not apply if you meet the definition of a beginning farmer, limited resource farmer, and traditionally underserved* farmer.
- The premium for limited resource, beginning, and traditionally underserved* farmers is 50% of the premium.
*Traditionally Underserved — Socially disadvantaged farmer definition: A farmer or rancher who is a member of a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of a group, without regard to their individual qualities. Socially disadvantaged groups include the following, and no others unless approved in writing by the Deputy Administrator:
- American Indians or Alaskan Natives,
- Asians or Asian-Americans,
- Blacks or African-Americans,
- Hispanics or Hispanic-Americans,
- Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, and
*For legal entities requesting to be considered Socially Disadvantaged, the majority interest must be held by socially disadvantaged individuals.
Micro-Loans from USDA Farm Service Agency
Micro-Loans Expanding eligibility and increasing lending limits to help more beginning and family farmers.
- The borrowing limit is increased from $35,000 to $50,000.
- Loan types include: production operations, machinery and breeding stock, farm real estate (purchase and make improvements, and land development to promote soil and water conservation)
- The lending process is simplified.
- Updating required “farming experience” to include other valuable experiences
- Expanding eligible business entities to reflect changes in the way family farms are owned and operated
- Help more people who are considering farming and ranching, or who want to strengthen their existing family operation