On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that certain industrial hemp growers are now eligible for crop insurance under the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program for crop year 2020.  “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,” said Martin Barbre, Administrator of the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA).  

The policy change immediately applies to growers covered by USDA approved hemp plans, or those who participated in a state or university pilot program authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill.  Growers who did not participate in these programs and did not produce hemp until it was authorized under the 2018 Farm Bill must wait for further regulations from USDA.

The 2018 Farm Bill amended the Controlled Substance Act to change how industrial hemp is regulated by the federal government.  The legislation paved the way for farmers to cultivate industrial hemp and the USDA’s announcement on Tuesday provides financial certainty for hemp-growers.