Former Minnesota congressman Collin Peterson knows farm policy. As Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Peterson played a key role in several Farm Bills. Peterson recently spoke at an Agri-Pulse event about the critical role crop insurance plays in the farm safety net.
“The most successful thing we’ve done in agriculture, and clearly during my career was crop insurance,” Peterson said.
As farm disasters have threatened farms in recent years, Peterson also urged Congress to utilize the next Farm Bill to improve crop insurance and expand coverage where needed, rather than create a separate new permanent disaster program. Peterson warned that a permanent disaster program would “undermine crop insurance.”
Policy experts and politicians aren’t the only ones speaking out in support of crop insurance. We’ve spent the year talking to farmers on the ground about how crop insurance helps them manage their risks and gives them the tools to improve resiliency.
- “[Crop insurance has] been a tremendous help. It is a very affordable tool that allows you to minimize or manage some risk and have a small return if the weather goes against you.” – Gayle Smith, North Carolina rancher
- “We use crop insurance for the fact that if something bad happens, we don’t want to lose our livelihood.” – Jim Carroll, fourth-generation Arkansas farmer
- “Crop insurance helps me relieve the stress knowing that if something happened, disaster happened on the farm, I do have something to fall back on. That I won’t… lose everything.” – Michael Moore, third-generation North Carolina farmer
- “Crop insurance basically ensures that the growers are going to be farming next year.” – Landrum Weathers, fifth-generation South Carolina farmer and crop insurance agent
- “Without crop insurance… this farm would not still be here. It would be gone.” – Brian McClam, seventh-generation South Carolina farmer
- “We put so much money into the crop that we can’t afford to miss a crop. Or not to have a safety net if we do.” – Scott Flowers, Mississippi farmer
These testimonials represent the immense trust that farmers place in crop insurance. Crop insurance is the cornerstone of the farm safety net, insuring 445 million acres in 2021.
It is critical that crop insurance remain affordable, effective, viable, and adaptable. This ensures that farmers have a risk management plan to prepare for the unexpected and the confidence to plant again after disaster.
“It’s going to give us more backstop against the ups and downs of agriculture,” Peterson said. “And that’s always going to be there. You know, it’s just a dangerous business.”