Farm families across America are struggling. Crop prices are down. Farm incomes have fallen drastically in the past several years and weather disasters have hit farms in most parts of the country. And the pain is trickling down to small businesses and communities throughout rural America. Yet, some lawmakers are pushing proposals that will make
The Farm Bill debate is heating up in Washington and that has me thinking back to 2015. We received way too much rainfall in central Missouri that spring and my family’s farm in Boone County, like many across the state, suffered big losses. We were only able to plant 40 out of our normal 500
Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), is urging farmers to make their voices heard as the next Farm Bill is being considered. “Constantly communicate with (legislators) week in and week out,” he said during a recent visit to Indiana, where he met with members of the media. “And then when these
Opponents of agriculture recently gathered in Washington, D.C., to strategize for ways to dismantle farm policies in the upcoming Farm Bill. Crop insurance was among their targets – specifically making insurance protection less affordable and available to farmers, and less economically viable for the private sector to deliver. Many agriculture groups, including the National Association
“Such a policy would likely impact farms that had high levels of off-farm income from a spouse and or other business activities,” according to Barnaby and Taylor. Furthermore, because most farmers’ incomes are tied to crop prices, some growers could be ineligible in some years and eligible in others, creating a compliance nightmare for the USDA and farmers alike.
As Farm Bill discussions continue, so do the misguided attacks on America’s farm policy. But the ag community is making its voice heard, taking to newspaper opinion pages across the country to stress the indispensable role crop insurance plays in helping American farmers provide affordable food for America and the world. Dorian Culver, a soybean
Agriculture’s opponents use terms like “guaranteed profits” to disparage the crop insurers that protect America’s food and fiber supply, help farmers pick up the pieces after disasters, and shield taxpayers from footing the whole bill through unbudgeted ad hoc disaster packages. These criticisms unfairly confuse basic business concepts like gross returns and net income. The
In the wake of weather disasters in 1983, 1984 and 1988, U.S. agriculture was struggling, and an unparalleled farm debt crisis was only compounding the problem. Back then, the federal government responded differently to agricultural crises. There was no overall strategy to deal with recurring farming disasters, and responses were generally reactive and after-the-fact. So,
By: Luke Sandrock Published in the Herald & Review August 25, 2017 Even the best-laid plans sometimes go wrong. No one knows this more than a farmer. They can plan out the entire year for how they will harvest a crop, but a single storm or a drop in the market can change everything. It
Luckily, most lawmakers recognize crop insurance’s value and are dedicated to keeping it affordable and widely available.
The importance of crop insurance and other risk management tools to our nation’s farmers is the main message of the first segment in a new Agri-Pulse Farm Bill video series. “We all rely on farmers and ranchers, but farming is riskier than other businesses out there,” the video begins. “Crop insurance helps farmers manage their
The House Agriculture Committee has been crisscrossing the country this summer to visit with farmers and ranchers about their priorities in the upcoming Farm Bill. These listening sessions have been extensive, and Committee members have touted their usefulness. Following the most recent forum in California this week, Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) addressed the sugar industry’s
By: Rex Williamson Published in The Columbus Dispatch July 26, 2017 My family has been in agriculture in northwest Ohio for generations. My great-grandfather, grandfather, and dad farmed. I followed in their footsteps. It was a great blessing. We were taught to love and appreciate hard work, and we learned to work as a family.
Crop insurance industry leaders testified this week before the U.S. Senate, touting the benefits of the program to our nation’s farmers and ranchers. But they were far from the only ones promoting crop insurance in what was the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry’s largest Farm Bill hearing to date. Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS),
Crop insurance industry leaders testified today before U.S. Senators, stressing the vital role crop insurance plays in providing risk management to farmers across the country. Their testimony was part of the Senate on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry hearing, “Commodities, Credit, and Crop Insurance: Perspectives on Risk Management Tools and Trends for the 2018 Farm Bill.”
Favorable growing conditions and record yields for corn and soybean marked 2016 along with fewer losses, according to a report in the latest edition of Crop Insurance Today magazine. Only seven states – all of which are in the Northeast – had loss ratios greater than 1.0, noted “2016: The Year in Review” authors Mechel
Means testing measures like adjusted gross income (AGI) limits would have unintended consequences for all farmers, warns Rodney Weinzierl.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recognized crop insurance as an important part of the farm safety net and said the program is critical to the country’s food security during recent Senate testimony about the proposed United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) budget.
In the days surrounding the release of a proposed White House budget that includes cuts to crop insurance, farm leaders are taking to newspaper opinion pages across the country to defend the successful program.
The American Association of Crop Insurers, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau, Crop Insurance Professionals Association, Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, and National Crop Insurance Services released the following joint statement in response to the White House’s proposed FY2018 budget.
Participants at the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry’s second Farm Bill field hearing stressed that with tough times hitting farm country in the form of catastrophic weather events and falling prices, farmers need a strong farm safety net more than ever. The field hearing was held at Michigan State University, Ranking Member
Tax season is finally over, and naturally many of us are thinking about how our checks to Uncle Sam will be spent in the upcoming year. Here’s a hint: Not very much will be going to the farm. In fact, for every $100 spent by the Federal government, less than 25 cents actually goes to
Tom Zacharias, president of National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS), was among the speakers invited to address this week’s Farm Bill Summit in Washington, D.C. The well-attended event, organized by Agri-Pulse, included a diverse cross-section of agriculture stakeholders.
Don’t think crop insurance affects you? Check out this coverage map. The green areas represent counties where crops are covered by crop insurance. (Click for a PDF version.) About 90% of U.S. farmland is insured, providing $100 billion in protection to more than 125 different kinds of crops in all 50 states. To see how
The Farm Bill debate is officially underway—and crop insurance took center stage at the first Senate Agriculture Committee field hearing, held last week at Kansas State University.
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
Welcome to “What’s Cropping Up.” If you’re reading us for the first time, chances are good that you’re either a new Congressional staffer or a reporter that’s joining the ag policy beat. As such, we wanted to start with some of the basics. Of course, if you’re chomping at the bit to graduate from Crop
Crop insurance is arguably the first farm policy in history that is largely financed by the farmers who benefit from it. Unlike policies of the past, which were 100 percent backed by taxpayers, modern-day farm policy requires growers to take an active role in its funding – a concept sometimes called “skin in the game.”
Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says his top Farm Bill priority in the 115th Congress is to preserve a vigorous crop insurance program, noting there is no safety net more valuable to farmers and taxpayers. “It not only saves the taxpayers money, because obviously if we didn’t have crop insurance and you had disasters in
Prior to the holidays, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives President and CEO Chuck Conner found himself in a strange place – onstage at a farm policy conference sitting between two of agriculture’s biggest opponents: EWG and Heritage. Unsurprisingly, demands to rip holes in the farm safety net and mandate new government regulations were made. It
Bangor Daily News December 13, 2016 “Diversify, diversify, diversify.” This is the mantra of most financial advisors—a popular approach to protect investors in the face of volatile market swings. The same strategy also has served agriculture—another unpredictable market-quite well. Here in Maine, we have established one of the most diverse agriculture “portfolios” in the nation.
Whenever a customer writes a premium check for an auto or home insurance product, part of that payment is allocated to servicing the policy. That is, insurance companies include an expense load in the premium for each policy beyond anticipated losses to offset overhead costs, such as staff salaries, agent commissions, adjusting losses, employee training,
Agri-Pulse November 4, 2016 For nearly four decades I have worked with Connecticut River Valley farmers to help protect their livelihoods. Over that time, I’ve seen many changes, both in the make-up of farms and the tools farm families have to manage uncontrollable risk. As our population has grown, the amount of available farmland has
With discussions around the next Farm Bill right around the corner, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) are passionately touting crop insurance as an essential risk management tool. The two Senators recently addressed the issue in an interview with KIOW News Director A. J. Taylor. “This is the Number One issue that farmers
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
There are a number of certainties in life. I know, for example, that every morning on my farm, the sun will rise in the east, and that every evening it will dip beneath the west horizon. And we know Iowa summers will be warm, the winters will be harsh and when the soil has thawed,
Crop insurance enjoys widespread bipartisan backing on Capitol Hill. And this week, one high-profile leader, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), was emphatic in his support, saying the recent floods in eastern Iowa serve as an important reminder why crop insurance is so essential. Grassley recently surveyed the flood damage in several eastern Iowa cities, and discussed
With a third straight year of declining farm income and reports of agriculture credit conditions deteriorating, we are reminded why lawmakers put a safety net in place for farmers, and why that safety net must be affordable and widely available to all producers in the country. A recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of
In a blog post appearing in Ag Daily, Farmer’s Daughter USA founder Amanda Zaluckyj shines light on the critical role crop insurance has played in keeping her family’s southwest Michigan farm afloat in 2016— one of those years where “everything just seems to go wrong.” Zaluckyj says the problems on her family’s farm started early
With 297 million acres of farmland covered by crop insurance, this risk management tool has become an integral part of the farm safety net for American producers. Policies are available for more than 120 crops for farmers of all operation sizes in all states. This is a fact that farmers, policymakers, lenders, and other agricultural
Suppose that you have a fire in your home, or you total your car and have to file a major claim with your insurance provider. On one hand, you’re thrilled that an indemnity is on its way to help pick up the pieces. On the other, you’re dreading future increases in premiums and the likelihood
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
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
Agriculture’s opponents love to paint the picture of federal crop insurance as a program that just caters to big, conventional farming operations that only grow certain commodities. But, that narrative is simply not true. Crop insurance is widely available to farmers, regardless of their size or cropping choices. And, now there is new data to
“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
In the midst of an economic downturn all across farm country, two leaders in the Farm Credit System (FCS) are speaking out about the importance of crop insurance for farmers during these times. In an interview with Agri-Pulse, new CEO and President of the Farm Credit Council, Todd Van Hoose said, “crop insurance is absolutely
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
Although I was born and raised on a farm, the standing rule in our house was I had to spend two years after college pursuing other things. This was not to discourage me from continuing the family farming tradition. Rather, my father wanted to make certain I knew what kind of life I was signing
Critics of America’s farmers and the risk management tools they depend on would have you believe that U.S. farm policy somehow guarantees growers a plush profit. Amid current falling crop prices, shrinking farm incomes, and rising debt loads, we’re sure most farmers would welcome such a guarantee. Too bad it doesn’t exist. To make their
Congress made crop insurance a cornerstone of U.S. farm policy for numerous reasons. It is efficiently delivered by the private sector. Farmers and insurers help fund the system so taxpayers aren’t on the hook for the entirety of disaster aid. Payments get into the hands of farmers after disaster strikes within days, not years, but