The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Thursday that hemp farmers are now eligible for two crop insurance programs that offer coverage in the event of natural disasters.
The first pilot program, Multi-Peril Crop Insurance, will be available for farmers in select counties in 21 states for the 2020 crop season. It provides coverage for crop losses attributed to weather, fire, disease and other natural events. Hemp cultivated for fiber, grain or CBD qualify for the program.
Only hemp farms that have been operating for at least a year and have a contract to sell the crop are eligible. USDA set a minimum acreage requirement for coverage: five acres for hemp grown for CBD and 20 acres for grain and fiber. The department also stipulated that the crop will “not qualify for replant payments or prevented plant payments” under the program.
The second insurance option is called the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. If no permanent federal insurance option is available, hemp farmers can apply for this program, which would also cover losses for hemp grown for fiber, grain, seed or CBD for the 2020 season.