Some hemp producers now eligible for crop insurance for crop year 2020

September 4, 2019

USDA’s Risk Management Agency announced that industrial hemp growers will be able to obtain insurance coverage under the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection program for crop year 2020, if their hemp is grown for fiber, flower, and seeds. 

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced that industrial hemp growers will be able to obtain insurance coverage under the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program for crop year 2020, if their hemp is grown for fiber, flower, and seeds. However, this coverage is only available now for hemp producers that are part of a Section 7606 state or university research pilot as authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Other producers will have to wait until a USDA plan is in place.

“Numerous producers are anxious for a way to protect their hemp crops from natural disasters,” said RMA Administrator Martin Barbre, in a press release. “The WFRP policy will provide a safety net for them. We expect to be able to offer additional hemp coverage options as USDA continues implementing the 2018 Farm Bill.”

To be eligible, among other requirements, a hemp producer must comply with applicable state, tribal, or federal regulations for hemp production and have a contract for the purchase of the insured industrial hemp. Hemp containing THC above the compliance level will not constitute an insurable cause of loss. Additionally, hemp will not qualify for replant payments under WFRP.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is still formulating regulations that will include specific details for both a USDA plan for the production of hemp and a process for submission of state, territorial, or tribal plans to USDA. Once that is complete, says USDA, RMA, the Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other USDA agencies will share eligibility information on their programs, which include safety net, conservation, farm loan and disaster assistance programs.