Specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture nursery crops.
Specialty crops are a priority at RMA, and federal crop insurance coverage for specialty crops has grown steadily over the past 15 years. In 2018, the amount of insurance for specialty crops totaled more than $18 billion.
Expansion of the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection insurance program, the first Federal crop insurance program to be available in every state and county in the U.S., provides the risk management safety net to all commodities on all farms across the U.S., including specialty crops.
If you have feedback on how we can improve coverage for specialty crops, please let us know at SpecialtyCrops@rma.usda.gov.
If you are interested in learning more about insuring your specialty crops, please contact your local RMA specialty crop insurance liaison from the list below.
- Outreach to Stakeholders
- February 8, 2020 – RMA staff from the Springfield, Illinois Regional Office will attend the Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS) Michigan Family Farms Conference (MFFC) at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (Texas Township Campus) in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The MFFC offers beginning, small-scale and culturally diverse farmers a chance to network, learn and build sustainable family farms. RMA will have a booth to network with producers attending the conference as well as other agencies, grower groups, and organizations.
- February 11–13, 2020 – A Spokane Regional Office Risk Management Specialist will attend the 2020 Oregon Wine Symposium in Portland, Oregon. The symposium will discuss the state of the grape industry, a climatology report, pest and disease management, and many other topics to attendees. Over 1,700 people associated with the industry will be in attendance. The Spokane Regional Office was also invited to discuss risks associated with smoke exposure to grapes on February 13 with Oregon State University.
- February 11–13, 2020 – RMA staff from the Springfield, Illinois Regional Office will attend the Indiana Horticulture Conference at the Marriott East Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana. The event is sponsored by Purdue and is intended to bring specialty crop growers together from across the Midwest. The conference has several sessions throughout the three days and the Springfield Regional Office will have a booth set up in the trade show area. A specialist from the Springfield Regional Office will be speaking for a short time on the available crop insurance programs for small farms and specialty growers. There is a small tract available for hemp in which the Director of the Springfield Regional Office will be participating in.
- February 12 – 13, 2020 – RMA staff from the Topeka Regional Office will host a booth at the Women Managing the Farm conference in Manhattan, Kansas. The event brings together a wide range of producers, including specialty crop producers, to develop the skills, resources and knowledge needed for success in a competitive agricultural environment.
- March 5-7, 2020 – A Specialist from the Springfield Regional Office will attend the Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference at Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This conference supports growers and brewers by providing education and networking opportunities for all levels of the craft beverage industry. The Specialist will provide a session on crop insurance for Barley producers as well as have a booth at the exhibit hall to network with producers, other agencies, grower groups and craft beverage industry organizations.
Watts and Associates, Inc. will be conducting training around the country on the newly approved Nursery Value Select (NVS) Insurance Program. NVS is a dollar plan of insurance product developed by RMA, with contracted assistance from Watts & Associates, Inc. NVS provides a program that is more simplified and provides more options than the previous Nursery Crop Insurance Program. Following is a list of the NVS training locations and dates:
- Mobile, Alabama (February 5, 2020 from 10:00 – 11:30 am at the Mobile County Extension Office, Jon Archer Agricultural Center 1070 Schillinger Rd., N. Mobile, Alabama);
- Tyler, Texas (February 6, 2020 from 9:00 – 10:30 am at Homewood Suites, Magnolia Room, 3104 Golden Road, Tyler, Texas);
- Denver, Colorado (February 18, 2020 from 10:00 – 11:30 am at Hampton Inn & Suites Denver/Airport-Gateway Park, 4310 Airport Way, Denver, Colorado);
- West Palm Beach, Florida (February 20, 2020 from 9:00 – 10:30 am at the Palm Beach County Extension, Exhibit Hall A, 559 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, Florida); and
- Orlando, Florida (February 21, 2020 from 9:00 – 10:30 am at the Mid-Florida Research and Education, Building B Auditorium, 2725 S Binion Rd, Apopka, Florida);
- Specialty Crops Liaisons
Regional Office - Liaison
- Billings, MT – Steve Junghans
- Davis, CA – Thalia Barajas
- Jackson, MS – Derrick Johnson
- Oklahoma City, OK – Devin Lolles
- Raleigh, NC – William Barnes
- Spokane, WA – Nick Gans
- Springfield, IL – Adrienne McTaggart
- St. Paul, MN – Craig Christianson
- Topeka, KS – Amanda Whitehurst
- Valdosta, VA – Matthew Wilkin
- Expansions of Specialty Crops Programs
RMA continues to communicate with producers and other interested parties to identify where there is a need to expand the availability of risk management products to producers. Expansion of products is generally made to growing areas where RMA is aware the crop exists, there is some history or experience of the crops performance, and there is significant grower interest in the product.
The following are expansions of existing specialty crop programs into new counties for the 2019 reinsurance year.
2019 Reinsurance Year County Expansions for Specialty Crops
Crop States Counties Apples Iowa Greene, Johnson, Tama
Minnesota Fillmore, Houston, Scott, Winona, Wright Wisconsin Green, Jefferson, Racine, Walworth Dry Beans Minnesota
Freeborn, Isanti, Rice, Roseau, Scott, Steele, Waseca
Dry Peas Minnesota Becker, Cass, Clay, Hubbard, Mahnomen, Marshall, Otter Tail, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena
South Dakota Aurora, Beadle, Bennett, Brule, Buffalo, Campbell, Charles Mix, Corson, Dewey, Faulk, Haakon, Hand, Harding, Hughes, Hyde, Jackson, Jerauld, Jones, Lyman, Mcpherson, Meade, Oglala Lakota, Pennington, Perkins, Potter, Stanley, Sully, Tripp, Walworth, Ziebach Fresh Market Tomatoes California San Benito, Santa Clara Lemon Trees Florida Collier, Glades, Hardee, Indian River, Polk Lemons Florida Collier, Glades, Hardee, Indian River, Polk, St. Lucie Macadamia Trees Hawaii Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai, Maui Peaches
Massachusetts Bristol, Essex, Franklin
New Jersey Morris, Warren
- Outreach to Stakeholders
- January 27-28, 2020 – The Billings, Montana Specialty Crops Liaison will attend the Northern Pulse Growers Association Annual Convention at the Clarion Hotel in Minot, North Dakota. The Liaison will meet with the board, present dry pea crop insurance program changes, applicable planting dates, and discuss any issues the board may raise. The Liaison will also have a booth that will provide attendees with crop insurance information.
- January 24-25, 2020 – RMA staff from the Springfield, Illinois Regional Office will attend the Northern Michigan Small Farms Conference at the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, Michigan. The staff will have a booth to network with producers attending the conference as well as other agencies, grower groups, and organizations. The purpose of this conference is to reach small farms and gardeners in the northern area of Michigan. The conference has hemp, maple syrup, and herb tracts available for attendees.
- January 16-17, 2020 – The Billings, Montana Specialty Crops Liaison will attend the Northarvest Bean Growers Association Board Meeting and Bean Day at the Holiday Inn, Fargo, North Dakota (3083 13th Ave S.). The Liaison will meet with the board, present dry bean crop insurance program changes, and discuss any issues the board may raise.
- January 8–10, 2020 – RMA staff from the Springfield, Illinois Regional Office will attend the Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, & Organic Conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel & Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois. The purpose of the conference is to promote and develop the Illinois specialty crop industry. RMA staff will host a booth to network with producers attending the conference as well as other agencies, grower groups, and organizations.
- January 9-11, 2020 – The Topeka, Kansas Specialty Crops Liaison will attend the Great Plains Growers Conference in St. Joseph, Missouri, for specialty crop, cut flower, and honey bee producers from the Midwest. The Liaison will be available to network with growers and other parties interested in crop insurance for specialty crops.
- January 9–12, 2020 – An RMA Specialist from the Springfield, Illinois Regional Office will attend the Midwest iHemp Expo at the Lansing Convention Center in Lansing, Michigan. The Specialist will participate in an USDA discussion panel along with representatives from the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Rural Development.
- December 10 and 11, 2019 - The Specialty Crops Liaison from the Billings, Montana Regional Office attended the Ag Horizons Conference in Pierre, South Dakota. The Liaison presented a dry pea crop insurance update and led a discussion on Final Planting Dates, expansion, and industry issues for the South Dakota Pulse Growers Association at their annual board meeting. The Liaison also manned a booth answering individual grower questions and gave out information and the Regional Office contact for specialty crops. In addition, the Liaison met with three South Dakota State University extension specialists and an individual from the South Dakota State Department of Agriculture to let them know of RMA’s commitment to make insurance available to specialty crop growers.
- December 9, 2019 (week of) - The RMA Whole-Farm Revenue Subject Matter Expert traveled to Mississippi the week of December 9, 2019, to visit catfish farms and met with producers to discuss crop insurance coverage options.
- September 25–26, 2019 - RMA staff met with stakeholders Sebring and Fort Pierce to discuss revenue coverage options needs for citrus growers in Florida.
- September 17–18, 2019 - RMA staff met with stakeholders in Bakersfield and Tulare to discuss revenue coverage options for citrus growers in California.
- August 27–29, 2019 - RMA staff met with stakeholders in Rochester, New York to research and discuss improvements to crop insurance procedures for specialty crop growers.
- June 24, 2019 - The RMA Specialty Crops Coordinator and Springfield, Illinois Specialty Crops Liaison met with Horseradish growers on June 24 in Collinsville, Illinois to discuss crop insurance needs of horseradish growers.