Pacific Northwest diversified crop and livestock producers now have a valuable online tool to help them better evaluate whole-farm insurance protection. AGR-Lite is a federally subsidized, whole-farm revenue protection package and is available through private crop insurance agents in 38 states. The tool will allow farmers to explore their eligibility to estimate premium costs specific to their farms, consider various future loss scenarios and print reports to assist in their insurance options. USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) funded a partnership between the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and Montana Tech of the University of Montana to develop AGR-Lite.

The tool uses a producer’s 5-year historical IRS farm income information and an annual farm report as a base to provide a level of guaranteed revenue for the insurance period. It also provides insurance coverage for multiple agriculture commodities in one insurance product and provides maximum liability coverage of $1 million.

“The plan provides protection against low revenue due to unavoidable natural disasters that affect gross revenue during the insurance year,” said Dave Paul, Director of RMA’s Spokane Regional Office. “Program participation continues to prove successful and we are pleased with the interest and response regional growers have taken, including our certified organic producers.”

Jeff Schahczenski, Agricultural Economist with NCAT, and lead developer of the AGR-Lite Wizard, said, “The AGR-Lite Wizard was designed, tested and evaluated by many farmers and ranchers from across the country and is very user-friendly. For instance, it is extra helpful and specifically provides easy data entry from tax forms.  If a farmer or rancher has their Schedule F tax forms, in an hour they can estimate how much AGR-Lite will cost at various levels of coverage and the likely indemnity payment for possible loss scenarios.”

AGR-Lite is available online at www.agrlitewizard.com or you can get a free copy on compact disc from NCAT by calling 406-494-4572 or e-mailing Jeff Schahczenski at jeffs@ncat.org.