U.S. hemp growers can get crop insurance beginning in 2020

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American industrial hemp growers will be eligible for crop insurance under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) starting in 2020. Those firms and farmers who grow hemp for fiber, flower or seeds will be eligible beginning with next year’s crops, under the recently announced program. The insurance coverage is through USDA’s Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program, under the Department’s Risk Management Agency (RMA).

“Producers are anxious for a way to protect their hemp crops from natural disasters,” RMA Administrator Martin Barbre said. “The WFRP policy will provide a safety net for them. We expect to be able to offer additional hemp coverage options as USDA continues implementing the 2018 Farm Bill.” The Bill, passed last December, essentially legalized hemp as an agricultural crop at the federal level.

Up to $85 million

WFRP allows coverage of all revenue for commodities produced, up to a maximum of $8.5 million. The Department said the program is popular for specialty crops, organic commodities, and non-traditional crops. 

The 2018 Farm Bill amended the Controlled Substances Act to define hemp as containing 0.3% or less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis, clearing the way for the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to offer policies protecting those who farm it.  

WFRP provisions state that hemp having THC above the compliance level will not be insured. Additionally, hemp will not qualify for replant payments under WFRP, USDA said.

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