Officials are hoping that education will help to boost farmer willingness to diversify the plants they grow.
In North Dakota, officials are hoping that changes to the crop insurance program will help to educate farmers in order to encourage them to diversify the plants they choose to grow.
Whole farm insurance coverage first became available in North Dakota during the last growing season.
While there weren’t any whole farm crop insurance policies sold, the officials from the Department of Agriculture believe that when they learn about what the coverage has to offer, it will rapidly increase in popularity. According to Doug Goehring, the North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner, this new growers insurance coverage “is a wonderful tool.” He went on to say that farmers may not yet have had enough of an opportunity to look into the program as much of the focus has been aimed at understanding the new Farm Bill as well as attempting to understand the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage as well as the alterations that have taken place in multi-peril policies.
Goehring explained that growers have had too much to learn to focus on the latest crop insurance offerings.
He pointed out that “Everybody had their plate full to learn all that.” As of 2016, whole farm insurance coverage is being offered across the entire country in time for the next growing season. Officials from the agriculture department have launched training sessions for insurance agents to make sure they’re fully prepared for the questions and advising that will soon be occurring.
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This type of insurance policy isn’t the same as the traditional program because it provides revenue protection for the whole farm for growers who are producing at least three different commodities. This includes both crops and livestock.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency stated that the reason the whole farm crop insurance was created was precisely because of the diversification it can encourage. There is a discount offered in premiums which grows with the amount of diversification the producer has to offer. In North Dakota, there are 50 different commodities currently being produced. Among them, 40 are plant-based, which means that crop producers are most likely to benefit from this coverage.