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New Crop Insurance Programs Could Expand What Fruits, Vegetables Are Covered

Expert Says Coverage Could Help Farmers Faced With Flood Or Drought

farm, LongitudeLatitude (CC-BY)
Photo: LongitudeLatitude (CC-BY).

Crop insurance largely covers commodities, like corn and soybeans, but new programs rolling out this year could ensure that more fruits and vegetables are covered.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture want to expand the coverage for farmers who can’t purchase insurance for their fruits and vegetables. The proposed rules would make it easier for producers to recommend that an underserved crop, like cucumbers or strawberries, be approved by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board.

Harriet Behar, an organic specialist with Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, or MOSES, said the coverage could help keep farmers afloat in case of a flood or drought.

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“These farmers are basically left without any safety net whatsoever. They are feeding people and they have put in a lot of investment and they are a strong fabric to the local communities, so we want to see them succeed,” Behar said.

Another new crop insurance product rolling out this year is Whole Farm Revenue Insurance. Behar said this could be helpful for producers who grow multiple crops and raise livestock.

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