Conservation Community Makes Crop Insurance Stronger

(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) — Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow told crop insurers this week that in addition to farmer support, new coalitions would be needed to defend the policy from critics in the future.

Agriculture’s work with the conservation community will be at the forefront of that effort, and Dan Wrinn with Ducks Unlimited (DU) Monday said the relationships forged during the Farm Bill debate would continue well into the future.

“We put this coalition together and it worked, but it doesn’t end here,” he explained during an annual convention hosted by National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) and American Association of Crop Insurance.

Crop insurance companies and agents worked closely with DU and other conservation groups during the debate to establish common-sense conservation compliance requirements for crop insurance participation. The groups also successfully fended off legislative attacks meant to weaken crop insurance through arbitrary limits on benefits and income means testing.

“Our coalition drew a lot of attention [because people] saw what the potential was…if you get crop insurance, if you can get commodity groups, and if you can get the conservation groups to come together,” Wrinn said.

The 2014 Farm Bill also improves crop insurance coverage available to fruit and vegetable farmers, organic crop producers, and livestock operators. And these improvements should further increase crop insurance’s support with other essential constituencies, explained Tom Zacharias, president of NCIS.

“Crop insurance has a proven track record and a promising future,” Zacharias said. “We are proud of our product and are eager to work with others to tell that story.”