More growers, including specialty crop producers, are poised to have ways to access federal crop insurance programs.

USDA’s Risk Management Agency has announced the availability of enterprise units for crops that were previously disqualified. An enterprise unit gives a producer the option of insuring all their acres in a county together, instead of separating the acreage. In a news release, USDA said enterprise units “are attractive to producers due to lower premium rates offered to recognize the lower risk associated with the geographic diversification.”

Enterprise units will be now available for alfalfa seed, cultivated wild rice, forage production, mint, onions and potatoes for the 2024 crop year. 

“We want to make sure we are giving the nation’s agricultural producers the strongest risk management tools possible — and one of those is flexibility,” said RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger. “This expansion of enterprise units gives producers more choices for how they can protect their operations and themselves best. That is our ultimate goal.”

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Earlier this year, the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance released its farm bill priorities, which included expanded crop insurance. The alliance represents specialty crop producers of fruits, vegetables, and nuts and has advocated for easing some crop insurance restrictions and increasing data to help new crop policies.

The 2018 farm bill directed RMA to improve and expand specialty crop insurance, benefiting many Western producers where specialty crops are grown.

“This expansion of enterprise units provides more producers the same options for discounted insurance coverage as row crops,” Bunger added.

RMA plans to announce expanded crop insurance for dozens more specialty crops in the next few months.

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