Representatives of various agricultural groups in Washington, D.C. voiced support for crop insurance during the annual meeting of the American Association of Crop Insurers and the National Crop Insurance Services. The session was designed to give crop insurers perspective not only from Capitol Hill, but also from farmers across the country. “We want crop insurance for all commodities in all states. It’s very clear every commodity wants to have crop insurance,” said American Farm Bureau Federation’s Mary Kay Thatcher. “Our farming members are by and large very happy with the crop insurance options in front of them,” added Bev Paul of the American Soybean Association.
The message was consistent with a letter that more than 30 groups sent to Congressional committees last week expressing disappointment in the president’s budget proposal that undermined crop insurance. The groups encouraged Congressional leaders to look elsewhere when they prepare their own budget plans. In the letter, they explained “budget levels currently in place for crop insurance ensure the affordability and availability of risk protection, while maintaining the viability of private-sector delivery.”
Indeed, these three tenets of affordability, availability, and viability were mentioned as the key to keeping the crop insurance system working effectively and efficiently. Another takeaway from panelists was the importance of sticking together and building alliances to make sure crop insurers can continue to offer a variety of options to farmers. “Our focus in the years to come will be defending what we have,” said Robbie Minnich of the National Cotton Council of America.