Crop insurance cuts questioned

A proposed $4 billion cut over five years to the USDA crop-insurance program’s contracting agreement with private insurance companies has prompted 10 commodity organizations to express their concerns in writing to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. USDA’s crop-insurance contracting agreement is called the Standard Reinsurance Agreement. The draft reduction the USDA is considering would be in addition to last year’s cut of $6.4 billion over 10 years and another $1.7 billion in cuts to other components of the farm safety net, the commodity coalition said in its letter. The organizations urged Vilsack “to promulgate an [agreement] that does not undermine the important gains made in crop insurance since… 2000, but instead further strengthens available risk management protections and broadens meaningful access.”