Beginning and Veteran Producer Crop Insurance

Updated: Mar 28


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USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) provides producers with effective risk management tools, such as crop insurance, to protect farmers during agricultural disasters, and allow farmers to manage the risks on their farms. For example, the Federal Crop Insurance Program allows farmers to purchase coverage on their farm and crops to ensure stability against financial losses, in the case of natural disasters and unfortunate market and growing conditions. Federal crop insurance provides additional assistance to disadvantaged producers impacted by such disruptions, making these farmers eligible for certain benefits designed to help as they start their operations. These groups include Beginning Farmers/Ranchers and Veteran Farmers/Ranchers.



Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

Beginning producers are provided distinctive crop insurance benefits, so they are able to start their operation with less adversity. These insurance benefits are intended to reduce the financial loss for those with less experience and resources than more experienced producers. Crop insurance for beginning producers can increase yield adjustments, enabling these producers to replace a low yield from an insured loss, from 60-80% of the applicable transitional yield (T-Yield). Beginning producers may also use the previous producer’s actual production history, for the specific acreage being transferred to them by the previous producer, if they were included in the decision making or physical activities of any farm producing crops or livestock. Other benefits of having crop insurance include an additional 10% of premium subsidy for additional coverage policies with a premium subsidy, and no administrative fees for catastrophic and additional coverage policies.


Eligibility and Applying

Producers eligible for beginning producer crop insurance benefits are individuals (including those with an insurable interest or substantial beneficial interest holder) who have operated a farm for no more than 5 years (10 years or less for Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP)). Producers under the age of 18, enrolled in post-secondary studies (not exceeding 5 crop years), or active in the U.S. military can exclude a crop year’s insurable interest. Business entities can only receive beginning producer benefits if 10% or more of the entity/interest holders qualify as beginning producers.


Applications are available through your crop insurance agent and must be completed prior to the insurance policy’s sales closing date for the benefit to be available for that crop year. Eligible producers must indicate any previous farming experience and any exclusionary time periods when under the age of 18, in post-secondary education, or active military duty. Once the producer is determined as a qualified beginner, they have continuous eligibility and benefits until the application is canceled, they have had an insurable interest in a crop or livestock for more than 5 crop years (10 crop years for WFRP), or have exceeded 5 crop years as a beginning farmer.


Veteran Farmers and Ranchers

U.S. military veteran producers are provided crop insurance benefits to assist in making a smooth transition to starting a new farm operation. Crop insurance benefits for this group assist with farm operation funding and maintaining land ownership, due to their lack of resources and financial stability when released from the military. Crop insurance for veteran producers can increase yield adjustments, which enables producers to replace a low yield from an insured loss, from 60-80% of the applicable T-Yield. Veteran producers also have the advantage of using the previous producer’s actual production history, only for the specific acreage being transferred to them by the previous producer, if they were included in the decision making or physical activities of any farm producing crops or livestock. Other benefits of having crop insurance include an additional 10% of premium subsidy points for additional coverage policies with a premium subsidy, and no administrative fees for catastrophic and additional coverage policies.

Eligibility and Applying

Producers eligible for veteran producer crop insurance benefits must be a U.S. military veteran (including an insurable interest or substantial beneficial interest holder) who has operated on a farm for no more than 5 years. Business entities can only receive veteran producer benefits if 10% or more of the entity/interest holders qualify as veteran farmers individually. Also, eligible veteran producers must have obtained veteran status in the past 5 years. The veteran producer will be ineligible for benefits if they have already qualified and received benefits from the beginning farmer crop insurance benefits.

Applications are available through your crop insurance agent, and must be completed before the insurance policy’s sales closing date for the benefit to be available for that crop year. Eligible farmers must indicate any previous farming experience and the date of discharge/release from active military, naval, or air force duty. Once the producer is determined as a qualified veteran producer, farmers have continuous eligibility and benefits until the application is canceled, they have exceeded 5 crop years as a veteran farmer, or they have exceeded 5 years from first obtaining veteran status.


Additional Resources

Producers can buy coverage directly by contacting a crop insurance agent. Please contact your local USDA Service Center or the call center for further application questions or assistance at 877-508-8364. *A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA service centers and on the RMA website at www.rma.usda.gov/en/Information-Tools/Agent-Locator-Page


This material is funded in partnership by USDA, Risk Management Agency, under award number RMA21CPT0011599