NAFA Developing Revenue Crop Insurance

After a decade of work, the National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance is getting the ball rolling on a new alfalfa revenue crop insurance product. The Risk Management Agency recently approved the concept to move into the development phase, and Wisconsin will be one of the first states in the pilot program.

NAFA President Beth Nelson says currently, alfalfa growers have no protections against revenue losses.

“We do have a forage protection product… but that only protects them from yield losses, not revenue, and that’s been an inadequate product,” she says.

Nelson says only about 10 percent of alfalfa growers are utilizing the existing product.

“If a farmer cuts an exceptional stand of alfalfa and it gets rained on prior to baling, they don’t necessarily lose the yield, but they will lose quality and that subsequently reflects the revenue that they’re able to get for that product,” she explains. “A policy protecting only yield does not provide a safety net for our alfalfa farmers currently in those cases.”

NAFA is working with AgriLogic Consulting on the product after USDA’s Risk Management Agency Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board recently approved the concept to move into the development phase.

Listening Session

As part of this phase, AgriLogic and NAFA are hosting a listening session for farmers and industry members to learn about the revenue product. They ask farmers to provide input to assist in making the new product the best fit for the industry.

The Forage Revenue Crop Insurance Listening Session is on Tuesday, June 11 at 6:30 p.m. CDT.


The event will begin with an overview of the new, revenue-based product proposed by AgriLogic. Following the presentation, you can give comments. AgriLogic will also answer questions from farmers and industry professionals about the proposed revenue-based product.

Nelson says this growing season is a perfect example of how growers would benefit from an alfalfa revenue crop insurance product.

“We’ve had a lot of untimely rains which has led to some significant lodging in the first cut,” she says. “Which is one of the reasons why this new product could be so important because they haven’t necessarily experienced yield losses, but they have experienced quality losses.”

Wisconsin will be among the first states to test the pilot program. The estimated timeline for that is the later part of 2025, Nelson says.

Why Doesn’t It Already Exist?

Nelson says the process has been long and tedious because of the unique nature of alfalfa. It’s a perennial crop harvested several times a year that’s not sold at local elevators or traded on the Chicago Board of Trade like other commodities.

“It’s also of significant importance to the farmers who need to obtain an operating loan,” she says. “We’ve been told from several farmers that their bankers are actually directing them away from alfalfa because it doesn’t have an adequate safety net.”

Alfalfa is the nation’s fourth most valuable field crop and a premium livestock feed source. Nelson says alfalfa is also a sustainable crop being good for the environment.

“In order to provide all of the sustainable attributes, it does need to be competitive with the other cropping choices, and most of those other cropping choices do have multiple risk management tools available to them.”