Crop Insurance and Disaster Assistance
Crop insurance products can help manage risk by supporting income in bad times. When perils beyond the farmer’s control significantly reduce revenues, crop insurance can provide indemnities that can help support lost revenues. In this way, crop insurance can serve as an important safety net for blackberry and raspberry growers.
Crop insurance as a safety net is not free; there are premium costs. This means producers have to ask themselves the following: Does my operation need a safety net in the form of crop insurance? How much am I willing to pay for this crop insurance? If I want crop insurance, what types of insurance are available and what type do I need?
The crop insurance options available today for blackberry and raspberry producers in North Carolina are:
- Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)
- Whole Farm Revenue Program (WFRP)
NAP is a “crop insurance” product for crops that are not currently covered under the traditional federal crop insurance program administered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA). NAP is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and it provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses, or prevents crop planting. NAP provides catastrophic coverage (i.e., when the amount of loss exceed 50 percent of expected yields, and valued at 55 percent of the average market price of the crop), but it also allows one to “buy-up” to higher levels of coverage from 50 to 65 percent of production, in 5 percent increments, at 100 percent of the average market price. For more information about NAP coverage click here.
WFRP is the only crop insurance product administered by the RMA that could protect blackberry and raspberry growers against both yield and price risk. WFRP is a whole-farm revenue protection plan of insurance that covers multiple crops and/or livestock. Because of this broader protection, WFRP is typically more costly than the NAP coverage. Though it is typically highly subsidized (i.e., up to 80 percent if insuring two or more commodities) and it allows the producer to have coverage greater than 50 percent (i.e., up to 85%). WFRP is especially well-suited for growers that have diversified operations, but it also allows for insuring just one crop (like blackberry or raspberry by itself). For more information about WFRP at the RMA website click here. For an NC State presentation about WFRP click here.