Farmers, agents, lawmakers discuss crop insurance


Farmers, agents, lawmakers discuss crop insurance

Farmers, agents, and lawmakers say protecting and improving crop insurance in the next farm bill is a top priority.

National Corn Growers Association vice president Tom Haag told a House Ag Subcommittee it’s important to push forward to protect the safety net for corn and other crops. “Making sure that the other politicians that don’t appreciate crop insurance, that we can convince them how important it is for the farmers because with our inputs right now, we have to have that safety net or that tool in order to continue farming in the next years.”

Crop insurance agent Kathy Fowler from Memphis, Texas says the Whole Farm Revenue Protection Program is extremely complicated as-is. “I think we can actually come in and make improvements. I think it’s a very valuable program for your specialty crop people.”

When asked what Congress can do to ensure crop insurance is not undermined, and more farmers can be encouraged to participate, Fowler says there are additional insurance products to consider and, “We need to be able to participate at a higher level of coverage and that is affordable, especially when the margins are so skinny out there at this point in time. And, I think if we can look at that and maybe increase the baseline to the budget and be creative in the new farm bill, that would be very helpful.”

House Ag Ranking Member Glenn GT Thompson told the subcommittee that crop insurance programs should not be used for climate policy leverage. “I want to touch on climate and the push by some to hijack crop insurance programs to carry out a half-baked environmental experiment. This must stop before irreparable harm is done to a farmer’s most critical risk management tool.”

The House Ag Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management heard testimony Wednesday morning.