Specialty crop farming, with higher value markets and risk-mitigating diversification, offers an attractive option for beginning farmers. With access to crop insurance specialty crop growers and new and beginning farmers can more easily obtain credit to sustain and grow their operations. Opportunities exist to adapt existing risk management policies to support these producers.
By focusing on the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) and the Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) programs, the paper discusses how improvements to both those programs could create a cascade of benefits to the agricultural sector, particularly for beginning farmers producing fruits and vegetables not currently covered by crop insurance. The paper also discusses changes to the programs in the 2018 farm bill and offers recommendations to strengthen data collection and analysis that can further the development of new risk management assistance for specialty crops.
This paper was written by Cara Fraver, National Young Farmers Coalition; Scott Marlow, Rural Advancement Foundation; and Jonathan Coppess, Coppess Consulting, LLC, with support from AGree. Together, the authors provide perspectives for how the current programs work and issue recommendations for improving the risk management assistance currently available.