Tricia Braid

Nov 27, 2012  |  ICGA

CONTACT: Tricia Braid (309) 557-3257 or Jeff Scates (618) 269-0829

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—Illinois corn farmers can thank a government agency for persevering in its efforts to make crop insurance premiums more closely reflect the risk associated with the crop.

The new crop insurance premium re-ratings announced today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency (RMA) should be recognized as a reasonable step in what has been a farmer-driven effort to enhance the program to function in a more equitable fashion.

“As the nation stands at the edge of the so-called fiscal cliff, a common sense measure like this crop insurance premium re-rate shows that prudent decisions are still achievable in Washington,” said Jeff Scates, a family farmer from Shawneetown, IL, and immediate past-president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. “We commend Administrator Murphy and his team of experts at the RMA for staying the course in their efforts to re-rate crop insurance premiums. Their decision is fiscally sound and budget-wise.”

RMA first started the re-rate process one year ago, after more than a decade of work by ICGA in partnership with the National Corn Growers Association. The Agency’s rating system reforms announced one-year ago began the incremental changes to rectify the unbalanced system. Re-rating provides for moving the crop-loss ratio toward the level intended by Congress.

“This re-rate demonstrates that farmers and the government can work together to tackle issues, make a plan, and implement change. It shows the kind of budgetary awareness and responsibility that many are hoping to see from Washington,” Scates added.

“Like many corn farmers, I was dealing with my own fiscal cliff all summer, with the unknown impact of the drought on my crop and family’s income,” said Gary Hudson from Hindsboro, IL. “I wasn’t farming in 1988, but I have friends that were and they’ve told me stories of the worry and anxiety they had about whether their families could farm just one more year after that historic drought.”

“It has meant the world to me to have faith in the crop insurance program to provide security for my farm and my family. I know I’ll still be able to buy my seed and fertilizer for next year and meet my family’s needs, too,” Hudson added.

Click here for the USDA announcement.