Urban greenhouse
Crop Insurance for Urban Farmers

Are you farming or gardening in a city or suburb? From community gardens to indoor vertical farms, urban agriculture provides critical access to healthy food for local communities, as well as jobs, increased green spaces, and closer community ties. USDA provides a wide variety of resources to help urban farmers, including administering Federal crop insurance, which can help farmers manage risk on their operation.

RMA is committed to providing risk management options for all types of agricultural producers, including urban farmers and growers using innovative production methods, indoor, controlled environment agriculture, rooftop farms, outdoor vertical production, green walls, high-tech vertical farms, greenhouses, and hydroponic, aeroponic, or aquaponic farms.

The Micro Farm and Whole-Farm Revenue Protection programs insure revenue earned by selling crops and value-added products. The Controlled Environment program is an inventory-based program that offers insurance for destruction orders for plant diseases and contamination introduced from the environment even though all biosecurity protocols were followed.

Options include:

  • Whole-Farm Revenue Protection
  • Micro Farm
  • Controlled Environment

Additionally, RMA is working with partners to improve risk management education with urban producers.

Whole-Farm Revenue Protection

Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) provides a risk management safety net for all commodities on the farm under one insurance policy and is available in all counties nationwide. This insurance plan is tailored for any farm with up to $17 million in insured revenue, including farms with specialty or organic commodities (both crops and livestock), or those marketing to local, regional, farm-identity preserved, specialty, or direct markets.

Under WFRP, diversified farms that might not have access to individual crop or revenue insurance policies for each crop they grow can insure all their crops and livestock under one policy.

Learn More About WFRP.

Micro Farm

The Micro Farm program provides a risk management safety net for all commodities on your farm under one insurance policy. This insurance plan is tailored for any farm with up to $350,000 in approved revenue, including farms with specialty or organic commodities (both crops and livestock), or those marketing to local, regional, farm identity preserved, specialty, or direct markets.

Micro Farm policy gives urban and innovative producers with smaller operations a more cost-effective way to insure all or most of the commodities they produce under one policy.

Micro Farm is also ideal for urban and innovative producers who participate in farmers markets and other local food networks because market readiness and post-production operations, such as canning, freezing, and processing activities, can be included in your allowable revenue and will be used when calculating your farm’s insurance guarantee.

Learn More About Micro Farm.

Controlled Environment

The Controlled Environment program is specifically for plants grown in fully enclosed controlled environments and provides coverage against plant diseases and contamination subject to destruction orders. Beginning in the 2024 crop year, the Controlled Environment program provides a risk management resource for urban, specialty crop, and organic producers who often use controlled environments as a major part of their operations.

The Controlled Environment program is a dollar plan of insurance, which bases the guarantee on inventory values reported by the producer and provides coverage against plant diseases and contamination when the plants must be destroyed under a federal or state destruction order. 

Learn more about Controlled Environment Program.

Transitional and Certified Organic

Crops insured through Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, Micro Farm, or Controlled Environment crop insurance policy can include transitional and certified organic cropping practices. Organic farming is one of the fastest growing areas of agriculture in the country today and these programs support farmers transitioning or are already involved in organics with beneficial and effective risk management options. Insurance is provided for any crop grown using organic farming practices when a premium rate for an organic practice is specified in the actuarial documents or through an approved written agreement.

Learn more about transitional and certified organic crops.

How to Get Crop Insurance
To learn more about crop insurance opportunities and resources for urban and innovative farms, contact your Approved Insurance Provider (AIP). A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator.
Risk Management Education

Every year, RMA funds partnerships, known as cooperative agreements, with nonprofits, universities, industry groups and others to deliver risk management education across the country. Since 2021, RMA has invested about $13 million in these partnerships, and many of these focus on urban producers.

For example, a partnership with Michigan State University is providing in-person networking and resource events for urban farmers to meet educators, lenders, and assistance providers.

Meanwhile, another partnership with the Southern Risk Management Education Center at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture helped establish a navigators program to provide strategic outreach and engage underserved agricultural populations about federal crop insurance, including urban farmers.

RMA will announce a call for proposals for fiscal year 2024 funding on its Outreach and Education webpage in the future. To help applicants, beginning in 2023, RMA began offering a support services contract vehicle at no costs to applicants from underserved organizations to provide facilitation and technical writing assistance to improve the quality, value, and extent of their respective project proposals. Learn more by contacting RMA at rma.risk-ed@usda.gov.

More Information
For more information on urban agriculture and innovative production, visit www.usda.gov/urban and www.farmers.gov/urban, or our innovative production website.