Compiled by Vern Grubinger, University of Vermont Extension
(802) 257-7967 ext. 13 or


The Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) program is a relatively inexpensive way to insure a wide variety of crops against natural disaster or loss of market. This program is provided through commercial insurance carriers, but the cost is low because the premiums are heavily subsidized by USDA Risk Management Agency. The program is unique among crop insurance in that it insures income rather than crop production levels.

Most Vermont vegetable and berry farmers will be eligible for the program. Some requirements include: five consecutive years of filing Schedule F tax forms; no more than 35% of income from animal agriculture; no more than 50% of income from purchase and re-sale of agricultural products.

Your coverage is based on your average gross income reported for the last 5 years. You can choose among 3 levels of coverage that protect against your income dropping below  65%, 75% or 80% of your average gross. Then you select either a 75% or 90% payment rate on the loss. Obviously, the more of your gross income you choose to insure, the higher the premium.

To help you understand the program here is an example, but remember, each farm will be different. Farmer Vern's main crops are summer and winter squash, strawberries, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, green beans and gourds. He has an average Schedule F income over the past 5 years of $76,800. Since his operation has been growing at 3.5% annually, his indexed Adjusted Gross Income is determined to be $88,166. Vern can choose 6 difference levels of coverage (65,75 or 80 percent of gross income and 75 or 90% payment level). The "loss inception point" is the gross income level below which losses are covered.

COVERAGE              PAYMENT              LOSS INCEPTION             PREMIUM             MAX. INSURANCE
    LEVEL                     RATE                          POINT                             YOU PAY                 PAYMENT

    65%                           75%                          $ 57,308                              $ 144                              $ 43,981

    65%                           90%                          $ 57,308                              $ 137                              $ 51,577

    75%                           75%                          $ 66,124                              $ 212                              $ 49,593

    75%                           90%                          $ 66,124                              $ 254                              $ 59,512

    80%                           75%                          $ 70,533                              $ 344                              $ 52,900

    80%                           90%                          $ 70,533                              $ 412                              $ 63,480

Another example is a diversified vegetable and strawberry farmer with an AGR of $214,400. His 80% coverage level (or loss inception point) is $171,520. To get 90% payment on losses below that income (up to $154,368) his annual premium would be $668. At 75% payment (up to $144,720) the premium is $452, and at 65% payment (up to $125,424) the premium is $218.

You can see that the AGR program is a good way to protect your business against major disaster.

TO BE COVERED FOR 2003 YOU MUST SIGN UP BY JANUARY 31, 2003. However, your premium will not be due until December 2003. For more information or to sign up for the AGR program, contact an insurance agency that handles this program, including:

Arthur Carroll Crop Insurance Agency (800) 531-4700  or
Odell Insurance, Bradford VT (802) 222-4755 or
Rain and Hail: see website for local agencies:

   Wednesday January 29, 2003, 1:00- 4:00 pm. Free and open to the public.
   First Presbyterian Church, Barre, VT.

(Take exit 7 of I-89, follow route 62 into Barre. Turn right at the lights onto route 302,  go 1/4 mile then turn left just after the shopping plaza. The church is on the right, just down the hill from Barre Municipal Center.)

1:00 Principles of Irrigation - Dr. Buddy Tignor, University of Vermont

Dr. Tignor has conducted a variety of field research on environmental stresses of vegetables and fruit, with particular emphasis on water relations. He will review the basics of irrigation with regard to measuring and managing soil water to optimize plant utilization and crop yields.

1:45  Diversified Vegetable Farming in Western Pennsylvania - Allen Matthews

Last year, Allen joined the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture as program coordinator. For 20 years prior to that, he farmed with his brother and father in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania on their 148 acre farm that has 60 acres of fields in a rotation that includes 45 acres of vegetables and 15 acres of cover crops. He will describe their production strategies and their marketing at the farm, directly to grocers and through a farmer co-op that sells to restaurants.

2:30  Integrating Vegetables and Ornamentals at Crossroad Farm - Janet Taylor

Janet and Tim Taylor have been farming in Fairlee for 22 years They have about 50 acres in diversified production, including 14 greenhouses. Ornamentals and bedding plants are a big part of the operation, providing essential early sales and then continuing through the season as an important part of farm stand sales. Janet is in charge of the ornamentals, and she will describe how she grows and markets hundreds varieties of annuals, herbs, and cut flowers.

3:15  Farmers Outstanding in their Fields, 2002 - Vern Grubinger, UVM

This annual visual tour features slides from farm visits around the state by your extension vegetable and berry specialist. See what other growers, large and small, organic and conventional, are doing to control pests, manage soil, and enhance markets.

     Tuesday February 11, 2003.
     Holiday Inn, Rutland Vermont
(just north of the intersection of Routes 7 and 4 west)

8:00 Registration, Trade Show, Refreshments

9:00 President's Remarks - Hank Bissell, Lewis Creek Farm, Starksboro

9:15 A Visit to ‘Pete's Greens' Farm - Pete Johnson, Greensboro

10:00 Agricultural Education on Your Farm, Made Easy
       Scout Proft and Suzanne Young

10:45 Break

11:00 Grower Round Table* 1: Greenhouse Tomatoes
       Mike Collins, Old Athens Farm, Putney

       Grower Round Table 2: Sweet Corn
       Will Stevens, Golden Russett Farm, Shoreham

12:15 Luncheon and Trade Show

1:30 Business Meeting: Election of Officers, Public Relations, etc.

1:45 Crop Insurance for Diversified Agriculture: the AGR program
 Colleen Kisselburgh, Arthur Carroll Insurance Agency

2:15 Grower Roundtable 4: Bedding Plants
       Greg Berger, Spring Ledge Farm, New London

       Grower Roundtable 3: Strawberries
       Jake Guest, Killdeer Farm, Norwich

3:30 Adjourn

* Roundtables will kick off with a 15-minute grower presentation then an open discussion about crop production, pest management, varieties, marketing, etc.

PRE-REGISTRATIONS must be received by Feb 7th. (Add $5 for at-the-door registration.) $20 for Members, $30 for Non-Members, including lunch.
(subtract $10 without lunch)

Member dues for 2003 are $32. Benefits include: A 2002-03 Extension Vegetable or Small Fruit Management Guide, a subscription to Agriview which contains the Vermont Vegetable and Berry News and a subscription to American Vegetable or American Fruit Grower magazine. Mail your check to: VV&BGA, c/o Doug Johnstone, 677 Skitchewaug Trail, Springfield, VT 05156

One pesticide applicator recertification credit in private or commercial categories 1a and 10 will be awarded for attendance at either of the meetings listed above. For more information or to request special accommodations contact Vern Grubinger.