Farm Credit Services Report Touts Crop Insurance

Crop insurance saved nearly 21,000 jobs in four states during one of the worst droughts in two decades, according to a report from Farm Credit Services of America. The 20-page paper breaks down the history of the crop insurance program from the start in 1930s, with the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, to expansions in

Eliminating Farm Policy Punishes America and Rewards Foreign Competitors

  The news has been full of foreign subsidy stories lately – whether it’s the trade case America filed against China for excessive corn, wheat and rice subsidies, complaints about Thailand’s sugar subsidy scheme, or the WTO reporting growth in trade restrictions around the globe. It is under this backdrop that some of U.S. agriculture’s

Praise in High Places for Crop Insurance

From South Dakota to Washington, D.C., crop insurance received praise in high places for its ability to help farmers and ranchers withstand the perils of growing food and fiber. “Crop insurance provides protection against the one thing that even the most resilient farmer cannot defeat – the wrath of Mother Nature,” wrote Scott VanderWal, the

New Video Spotlights Public Support for U.S. Farmers, Farm Policy

America’s farmers and farm policies, including crop insurance, receive overwhelming, bipartisan support from voters, according to a new video released today by National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS). The video comes after the Republican and Democratic parties wrapped up their national conventions, moving America into the heart of the election season. “As the first Tuesday in

A Secure Nation Begins with a Secure Food Supply

“I firmly believe that America’s first line of defense is our ability to feed and clothe the people,” Major General Darren G. Owens warned the House Committee on Agriculture during a recent hearing that focused on testimony from military leaders to highlight the link between agricultural production and national security. Maj. General Owens continued to

ICYMI: Trust the ag lender, crop insurance cuts would most harm family farms

This is the time of year when farmers are meeting with their lenders to renew farm operating loans for 2016. The past few years have been challenging for producers as commodity prices have fallen, input costs have risen, and severe weather has damaged or destroyed entire crops.  With the downturn in the ag economy, multiple

NFU Concludes Convention Season in Style

The first quarter of the year is always busy in agricultural circles, with most farming organizations – including the National Crop Insurance Services – holding annual conventions to discuss the issues likely to face farmers in the upcoming year. The National Farmers Union’s show usually completes the pre-Spring meeting circuit, and this year they are doing

Thank You, Commodity Classic Participants

This week kicks off the Commodity Classic, a huge trade show sponsored by the corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum industries.  As agricultural leaders gather to discuss current issues and set policy priorities for the coming year, we wanted to take a moment to thank farmers from each sector for their continued support of crop insurance.

This Drought Just Isn’t Giving Up, But Farmers Aren’t Quitters

California’s central valley has been called America’s salad bowl, but honestly in the last four years, it looks more like a dust bowl than a vegetable garden.  The historic drought has caused many California farmers to pay prices for water – just to keep their orchards alive – that most Americans would find unfathomable. Almond,

National Peach Council President Says Young Farmers Need Viable Crop Insurance

National Peach Council President Chalmers Carr said that he wouldn’t be in business today if it wasn’t for crop insurance.  “I do not believe that you would find very many willing lenders to participate in loaning to farming operations without crop insurance being a part of it,” said Carr in a nationally distributed National Association

Collin Peterson: Crop Insurance Key to Family Farmers, Young Farmers

Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee Collin Peterson (D-MN) warns that one of the biggest dangers to crop insurance is criticism from groups who are trying to undermine the important risk management tool through the appropriations process before the entire Farm Bill is even fully enacted.  “The danger is that some of the people

Former USDA Chief Economist Discusses 40-Year Career, Farm Policy in New Videos

Renowned agricultural economist Dr. Keith Collins reflects on his distinguished career and the future of farm policy in a series of videos released recently by National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS). Collins spent 32 years in federal service, where he served as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) chief economist to four secretaries of agriculture and

Give Crop Insurance a Chance to Work

A year after the farm bill was enacted the debate over crop insurance is brewing again. As cost estimates grow for the 2014 farm bill’s commodity program, several members of Congress are calling for program cuts. These congressmen seem to have forgotten that while the farm bill was being debated in 2012, Illinois was at

Crop Insurance: From Little Known Law to Cornerstone of Farm Policy

Although federal crop insurance has been around since 1938, for more than half a century it was largely unknown and underused. Because of this, natural disaster management was mostly done after the fact, in the form of large, costly disasters bills. These bills were not only slow in delivering much needed help to farmers, but

Farm Bill Reduces the Deficit, Boosts Crop Insurance

What started off two and half years ago as an attempt to craft a Farm Bill with bold deficit reductions in mind became the new North star of U.S. agriculture policy last week when President Obama signed The Agriculture Act of 2014 into law at Michigan State University. The law marks a dramatic turning point

2014: A New Year, A Fresh Outlook…Spotlight on Crop Insurance

When Nebraska and Kansas farmers looked out their kitchen windows in the late summer of 2012, they saw withering fields that harkened back to the Dust Bowl years. The majority of both states were experiencing extreme or exceptional drought, a condition that would not change for most farmers through harvest in the High Plains. And

2014: A New Year, A Fresh Outlook…Spotlight on Crop Insurance

When Nebraska and Kansas farmers looked out their kitchen windows in the late summer of 2012, they saw withering fields that harkened back to the Dust Bowl years. The majority of both states were experiencing extreme or exceptional drought, a condition that would not change for most farmers through harvest in the High Plains. And

Former USDA Chief Economist Details Growing Popularity of Crop Insurance

Crop insurance continues to grow in popularity, with 90 percent of planted cropland being protected by crop insurance in 2013, former USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins told Agri-Pulse radio host Ken Root during a recent interview on “Open Mic.” Root asked Collins why he had decided to return to working on crop insurance after his

Crop Insurance: The New Face of Farm Policy

From walking on soil baked into near-concrete during the worst drought in over 50 years in 2012, to dredging across flooded fields this soggy spring, farmers are wondering when an “average” year will occur. And that’s just weather. As a 26 year-old farmer, I’m starting to wonder what “average” or “normal” even means. In my

Crop Insurance: The New Face of Farm Policy

From walking on soil baked into near-concrete during the worst drought in over 50 years in 2012, to dredging across flooded fields this soggy spring, farmers are wondering when an “average” year will occur. And that’s just weather. As a 26 year-old farmer, I’m starting to wonder what “average” or “normal” even means. In my

Crop Insurance Keeps Rural America Healthy and the Country Fed

Hearings are already starting in Washington on the next Farm Bill, and major decisions will soon be made about which tools best manage the many risks faced by farmers. I count myself as one of the many farmers who will stand together and urge Congress to “do no harm” to crop insurance. Crop insurance has

Crop Insurance Costs Americans Two Cents Per Meal, According to CBO Data

Americans will spend ONLY two cents per meal on crop insurance – the risk management tool most used by farmers to protect themselves from the whims of Mother Nature – through FY 2023, according to CBO’s latest 10-year budget projections. That figure is up from one cent per meal, which was the average cost for

Good Farming Practices Aren’t Always Enough

It is hard to talk about the state of Alabama without mentioning agriculture. Alabama boasts more than 48,000 farms, covering roughly 28 percent of the state. But being a farmer in the Deep South – given our weather patterns – is like owning an unpredictable dog. One day it loves you, the next day, it

Total Farm Safety Net Spending Drops By Two-Thirds as More Farmers Purchase Crop Insurance

Total government spending on farm safety net programs – including all commodity programs and crop insurance – dropped by two-thirds from fiscal years 2000 to 2012, according to data provided by USDA and the Congressional Budget Office. The reduction took place as spending on commodity programs – including direct, counter-cyclical, loan deficiency and other payments

Keep crop insurance affordable in new Farm Bill

There is a lot of buzz in Washington again this year about the prospects of a farm bill. For those of us in agriculture, a five-year farm bill is one of the few things Congress can do to take some of the guesswork out of farming. That’s because farming is an inherently risky venture, and

Farmer Leaders Call Crop Insurance “Most Important Risk Management Tool”

Farmer leaders from across the country called crop insurance their “most important risk management tool” and said it is essential to keep agriculture strong and bring young farmers into an aging business. The comments were made during a panel discussion at the 2013 crop insurance industry conference in Indian Wells, California. Curt Friesen, a member

Crop Insurance: Smart, Fiscally Responsible Farm Policy

Every county in the state of Iowa is experiencing severe or extreme drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. This time last near, not a single county in the state was experiencing drought. In fact, it would be fair to say that farmers saw quite the opposite conditions last year, especially here in Western

Crop Insurance: Smart, Fiscally Responsible Farm Policy

Every county in the state of Iowa is experiencing severe or extreme drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. This time last near, not a single county in the state was experiencing drought. In fact, it would be fair to say that farmers saw quite the opposite conditions last year, especially here in Western

Montana Farmers Need A Strong Crop Insurance Policy

There are those who say that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. But the opposite can be true as well. Sometimes, it’s not until you look on the other side of the fence that you realize just how green your own grass is. That’s certainly true this year. After

Crop Insurance Saved Taxpayers $10.4 Billion Since 2002

Federal crop insurance has come in under budget every year since 2002 – the last year of major revisions to the program – saving taxpayers more than $10.4 billion in projected spending, according to a new analysis of Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data. The savings, taken as the difference between the projected cost of the

Crop Insurance Saved Taxpayers $10.4 Billion Since 2002

Federal crop insurance has come in under budget every year since 2002 – the last year of major revisions to the program – saving taxpayers more than $10.4 billion in projected spending, according to a new analysis of Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data. The savings, taken as the difference between the projected cost of the

Strong Financial Underpinning A Key Requisite to Strong Crop Insurance Policy

Because of the magnitude of risk inherent in U.S. agriculture, combined with the large volume of commodities produced, companies that participate in the Federal crop insurance program are mandated by law to have ready access to large pools of liquid capital so they can meet their obligations if disaster strikes the farming sector. These rigorous

What Does 2012 Hold for Crop Insurance? 

With 2011 indemnities quickly approaching the all-time record of $10 billion, and farmers preparing to plant another impressive crop just months after the worst weather year in U.S. history, the current crop insurance system is earning high praise from agricultural leaders and lawmakers alike. But in a new peer-reviewed analysis that appeared in January’s Choices

Kansas Farmer: One Size Doesn’t Fit All When it Comes to Risk Management

When it comes to risk management, one size does not fit all, said Kansas farmer Jay Armstrong during a recent radio interview with the National Association of Farm Broadcasters that ran nationally in early December. Armstrong noted that his 2,700-acre family farm is split between upland and bottomland. In years of drought, the upland withers

Kansas Farmer: One Size Doesn’t Fit All When it Comes to Risk Management

When it comes to risk management, one size does not fit all, said Kansas farmer Jay Armstrong during a recent radio interview with the National Association of Farm Broadcasters that ran nationally in early December. Armstrong noted that his 2,700-acre family farm is split between upland and bottomland. In years of drought, the upland withers

Crop Insurance: Private Sector Participation Enhances Policy Efficacy

Most would agree that the private sector excels at some tasks while the government is better-suited for others. This melding of the private and public sectors has yielded a crop insurance policy with affordable premiums, personalized risk management solutions and a private delivery system that puts needed monies into the hands of farmers when timing

Living on a Prayer

By John Thamert Agriculture is collectively holding its breath as the “super committee” meets to determine where the $1.2 trillion worth of federal budget funds will be cut. Having already shouldered more than $12 billion in cuts for deficit reduction in the past several years, farmers and ranchers feel the pain that other sectors have

Living on a Prayer

By John Thamert Agriculture is collectively holding its breath as the “super committee” meets to determine where the $1.2 trillion worth of federal budget funds will be cut. Having already shouldered more than $12 billion in cuts for deficit reduction in the past several years, farmers and ranchers feel the pain that other sectors have