Whole-farm revenue-protection insurance to be available nationwide in 2016

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Whole-farm revenue-protection insurance will be available in all U.S. counties starting in 2016, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden said on Monday.

The protection allows producers who had limited access to a risk-management safety net to insure all of the commodities on their farm at once, instead of one commodity at a time, giving them the option of embracing more crop diversity on their farms.

USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) introduced the whole-farm revenue-protection pilot program in most U.S. counties this year. When the new program is available in all counties next year, it will be a first for the federal crop insurance program.

The department also announced the following changes:

--Beginning farmers and ranchers: The required records have been reduced from five to three historical years, plus farming records from the past year. Any beginning farmer and rancher may qualify by using the former farm operator's federal farm tax records if the beginning farmer or rancher assumes at least 90 percent of the farm operation.

--Livestock producers: Producers will now be able to insure up to $1 million worth of animals and animal products.

--Expanding operations: Operations were expanded to 35 percent from the previous 10 percent.

A list of crop-insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator, at www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agent.html

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U.S. Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Avenue Southwest Washington, DC - 20250

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