The negotiations regarding the next farm bill are right around the corner. Talk about policy for the 2018 Farm Bill is already underway on the Hill, with special interest groups chiming in from every angle. We at IL Corn know that crop insurance is a vital part of your risk management tool box. In fact, through our surveys and farm bill listening sessions, you’ve let us know it should be among our top priorities for inclusion in the next farm bill. But did you know that more than 100 crops qualify for crop insurance?
A common criticism of crop insurance is that it is just for the major row crops. That couldn’t be further from the truth. According to the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB), crop insurance is available for more than 100 crops and to farmers of all sizes and in all 50 states.
National Corn Growers Association joined about 60 other farm groups in sending a letter to the Trump Administration recently that explains the importance of crop insurance to the agricultural economy. You can see that letter here http://cropinsurance.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Perdue-Crop-Insurance-Letter-Feb-2017-1.pdf
In part, the letter says, “…cuts to crop insurance during this difficult time for rural America should be avoided. Farmers and lawmakers agree that crop insurance is a linchpin of the farm safety net and is crucial to the economic security of rural America.”
CIRB provided the following interesting bits of information regarding crop insurance:
- The number of acres of fruit, vegetables and other specialty crop covered by crop insurance increased from 7.7 million acres in 2009 to nearly 8.3 million acres in 2015. That's an increase of 8 percent in just 6 years.
- Many specialty crops are insured at rates similar to or even higher than row crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat.
- Crops like almonds, grapes, and apples were among the top 10 insured commodities in 2015.
Interestingly, a well-regarded conservative organization has come out against crop insurance and revenue protection programs. The Heritage Foundation, in their latest recommendation to the White House, urge a complete gut of the revenue-based crop insurance program.
In their budget recommendation to President Trump, Heritage Foundation writes, “Any reasonable concept of a taxpayer-funded safety net for farmers would require a significant crop loss. Unfortunately, the current safety net, including the federal taxpayer-subsidized crop-insurance program, goes way beyond providing a safety net. The program does not require a disaster or even yield losses to have occurred for farmers to receive indemnities.”