Ag Policy Blog

USDA Offers New Micro Farm Insurance Policy for Local Growers

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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USDA has created a new crop insurance program for small farmers who sell local products. The Micro Farm policy will be available starting in 2022. (DTN file photo)

USDA is rolling out a new insurance option specifically for agricultural producers with small farms who sell locally.

Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) is encouraging its members who grow fruits, vegetables and other specialty crops to contact their local crop insurance agent to learn more about the new Micro Farm insurance policy.

"There has long been a lack of insurance options for fruit and vegetable growers and those farmers who sell directly to consumers," said MFU President Gary Wertish. "All farmers need insurance options to manage their operations, especially in years like this when so many Minnesota producers were adversely impacted by drought. We are hopeful this brings an affordable option to a historically underserved market."

The new Micro Farm insurance policy is offered through the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection program, and it will be available beginning with the 2022 crop year. It is geared specifically to farmers who sell direct to consumers.

The new policy has distinct provisions that can provide more access to the program, including:

-No expense or individual commodity reporting needed, simplifying the recordkeeping requirements for producers

-Revenue from post-production costs, such as washing and packaging commodities and value-added products, are considered allowable revenue

The Micro Farm policy is available to producers who have a farm operation that earns an average allowable revenue of $100,000 or less, or for carryover insureds, an average allowable revenue of $125,000 or less.

RMA's research showed that 85% of producers who sell locally reported they made less than $75,000 in gross sales. See the full report.…

"We are excited to offer this new coverage for producers who work to provide their communities with fresh and healthy food," said RMA Acting Administrator Richard Flournoy. "USDA is focused on supporting local and regional food systems, and this new crop insurance policy is designed with this important sector of agriculture in mind."

The Micro Farm policy builds on other RMA efforts to better serve specialty and organic crop growers. This includes Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP), which provides coverage for producers with larger operations that may not be eligible for Micro Farm. RMA recently made improvements to WFRP as part of a broader set of new policies and expanded policies to assist specialty crop and organic producers.…

The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation approved the Micro Farm policy in late September, and additional details will be provided later this fall.

USDA Opens Up Grant Applications for COVID-Related Expenses

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a Request for Applications (RFA) for the new Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant program and encourages eligible entities to apply now for funds. Approximately $650 million in funding is available for the PRS grants, which are funded by the Pandemic Assistance provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

The PRS Grant program will assist small businesses in certain commodity areas, including specialty crop producers, shellfish farming, finfish farming, aquaculture, and apiculture; specialty crop, meat, and other processors; distributors; and farmers markets. Small businesses and nonprofits in these industries can apply for a grant to cover COVID-related expenses such as workplace safety measures (e.g., personal protective equipment (PPE), retrofitting facilities for worker and consumer safety, shifting to online sales platforms, transportation, worker housing, and medical costs. The minimum funding request is $1,500 and the maximum funding request is $20,000.

The RFA and the PRS Grant Portal provide more details about eligibility for the grant. Eligible entities are required to obtain a free DUNS Number from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) before applying for this program. USDA has created a custom PRS DUNS number portal at…

Applications must be submitted electronically through the grant portal at…

The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on November 22, 2021.

Application resources, including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), tip sheets in English and Spanish on applying for a DUNS Number, videos on "How to Apply" and more, are available on the PRS Grant Portal.

For more information, you can also reach out to the PRS help desk, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. ET at (301) 238-5550 or

Check your eligibility, obtain a DUNS number, and learn more about the application process at the PRS Grant Portal.

Chris Clayton can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN


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