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 on, with a wet spring and flooding that delayed planting. Then, when the growing season got underway, her family found themselves facing the opposite problem—bone-dry fields.
Because of the adverse weather conditions, their corn yields have taken a huge hit. While many folks are posting their impressive harvest pics to social media, there will be no proud pics from the Zaluckyj farm this year, nor a bumper crop.
“But thanks to crop insurance, one bad season doesn’t (necessarily) mean our farm is going to go under,” Zaluckyj writes.
Zaluckyj praises crop insurance as effective because of its unique mix of government and private enterprise and proper oversight, as well as wide availability and required conservation practices.
Zaluckyj notes that the success of the crop insurance program was recognized during passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.
“While other farm support programs, such as direct payments, were completely eliminated or reduced, the crop insurance program was expanded. The 2014 changes included providing new options for farmers that face prolonged years of drought or other severe weather conditions,” she writes.
Crop insurance is essential to farming, Zaluckyj says, because unlike other businesses, these are more than market principles at work.
“Crop insurance will in no way be the same as having a good year with favorable weather conditions and high corn yields. But it will keep our family farm afloat. It means that (most of) the bills will get paid, we will still have a roof over our heads, and our family will survive to farm another year. To me, supporting, protecting, and preserving family farms is the mark of a good program,” Zaluckyj concludes.
To view Zaluckyj’s blog post in its entirety, click here.
Amanda Zaluckyj is a Michigan farmer’s daughter and a practicing attorney. She is founder of The Farmer’s Daughter USA blog, which aims help consumers better understand where our food comes from.