State Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens has announced that Tennessee farmers will be eligible to sign up for whole-farm revenue insurance protection for crops and livestock beginning in 2008.

Known as Adjusted Gross Revenue-Lite (AGR-Lite), the plan provides protection against unavoidable natural disasters and market fluctuations that affect farm income. The insurance plan differs from standard crop insurance in that multiple agricultural commodities can be insured with one product.

“This is great news for Tennessee farmers. AGR-Lite is much more suited to the type of agriculture we have in this state,” said Givens. “This insurance product will be especially beneficial to Tennessee’s diversified and small farms that depend on multiple crops and livestock for farm revenue. This plan will be important in helping Tennessee farmers mitigate future production losses like the ones we’ve experienced this year due to drought and freeze.”

In October, USDA Risk Management Agency Deputy Administrator Tim Witt confirmed approval of that agency’s expansion of AGR-Lite coverage for Tennessee.

In 2005, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture began the application process to make AGR-Lite coverage available to Tennessee farmers with the objective of helping small farms reduce risk. As part of that process, TDA worked with the University of Tennessee Extension in conducting a risk assessment of all of Tennessee’s crops and livestock production.

The whole farm revenue concept of crop insurance was developed in 2003 specifically to respond to the needs of small farms. AGR-Lite and other crop insurance products are administered and subsidized by the USDA Risk Management Agency.

Producers interested in AGR-Lite should contact an agent who sells crop insurance. USDA-RMA publishes policy materials and a list of agents on its Web site at www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agent.