The passage of the 2014 Farm Bill marked a pivotal moment for risk management in U.S. agriculture. Gone are the days of direct payments and most of the commodity programs for farmers. Today, when farmers seek to manage risk, they do so by purchasing crop insurance.
While farmers must make their decisions about purchasing crop insurance well before they plant, nearly 1.2 million policies have been processed through participating companies and RMA as of September 22, 2014. Those policies protect almost 291 million acres representing more than $108 billion in liabilities, accounting for nearly $3.8 billion in farmer paid premium. These numbers will continue to grow as more policies are processed and farmers plant their acres.
- In 2013, farmers spent nearly $4.5 billion to purchase more than 1.2 million crop insurance policies.
- Farmers and ranchers can purchase policies protecting 128 different crops, including nearly all major commodities and a long list of specialty crops including apricots, bananas, blueberries, cherries, coffee, olives and tangerines.
- Farmers have demonstrated their strong support for crop insurance with their pocketbooks, spending more than $38 billion out of their own pockets to purchase crop insurance policies since 2000.
- In 2013, 90 percent of planted cropland was protected by crop insurance.