Crop Insurance 101: Beginning Farmers (BFR) & Veteran Farmers (VFR)

Federal crop insurance policies provide benefits for individuals new to farming and/or those recently discharged from service in the U.S. military. These benefits include:

  1. Removal of administrative fee for catastrophic and additional coverage policies.
  2. Additional premium subsidy.
  3. Previous producer production history transfer.
  4. Yield Adjustment increase.

To be eligible for Beginning Farmer and Rancher (BFR) or Veteran Farmer Rancher (VFR), an individual must not have actively managed or operated a farm or ranch in any county or state. The individual must not have had an insurable interest in a crop or livestock as an owner-operator, landlord, tenant, or sharecropper for more than five crop years. This excludes any crop year the BFR was under the age of 18, in post-secondary studies, or on active duty in the U.S. military.

A VFR is eligible for benefits after discharge from the United State Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard – including the reserve components. Note that a DD or NGB form would be required to show date of discharge. If you qualify for VFR status based on having operated a farm for not more than 5 years, once you have operated a farm for 5 years you are no longer eligible. If you qualified for VFR status based on first obtaining status as a veteran during the most recent 5-year period, once 5 years elapsed you are no longer entitled to VFR status.

The application for either benefit must be submitted by the Federal crop insurance policy’s sales closing date, which is March 15th for Iowa corn and soybeans.

To learn more about the insurance products available for farm risk management, reach out to Chelsea Heatherington at Kingsgate Insurance.

Chelsea Heatherington, Farm & Ag Specialist

Call or Text: 515-302-8400


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