House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas is rejecting the premise of a recent Government Accountability Office report that suggests crop insurance program supports should be limited for farmers. Lucas says farmers continue to express the importance of crop insurance because it forms the backbone of the safety net. He says he does not support the repeated attacks on an actuarial sound risk management program that serves as a good example of a public-private partnership where producers pay for coverage. Lucas says limiting program supports would discourage participation in the crop insurance program and endanger its integrity as a result.
A release from the House Agriculture Committee Thursday highlighted excerpts of farmer testimony on the importance of the crop insurance program in field hearings started by the committee last month. One Minnesota corn and soybean producer told committee members that Federal Crop Insurance should be preserved, protected and strengthened. A corn, soybean, wheat, hay and beef producer from Ohio expressed that crop insurance in its current form is the most effective answer to short crop years. Yet another producer said effective risk management has never been more important because of today’s environment of volatile prices and high input costs. The Alabama cotton, corn, peanut, soybean, grain sorghum and cow calf producer strongly urged that crop insurance not be weakened during this farm bill.
ASA Opposes Additional Cuts to Crop Insurance
According to a Government Accountability Office report requested by Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn – the federal government could potentially save one-billion dollars a year by capping crop insurance subsidies at 40-thousand dollars per farmer per year. American Soybean Association President Steve Wellman opposes the potential cuts. He says it doesn’t make sense to make changes to a program that has been successful and critical to farming operations. Wellman says farmers are willing to do their fair share to help reduce spending – and are doing that in other areas – like eliminating direct payments. Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow also disagrees with proposals to change crop insurance.
Source: NAFB News Service