In response to the Deficit Reduction Plan unveiled today by President Obama, Tom Zacharias, President of National Crop Insurance Services, released the following statement:

September 19, 2011

“The crop insurance industry shares the belief that deficit reduction is important. In fact, crop insurers have contributed more than most other industries to the goal of deficit reduction in recent years. However, the President’s plan to make further reductions to the crop insurance system does not serve the best interests of America’s farmers or the country’s food security.

“The plan is devastating to those in agriculture, particularly in a year that has seen extremely volatile commodity prices and weather events — from droughts in Texas and Oklahoma to floods in the Northeast and Midwest.

“The White House calls for further streamlining of the Federal Crop Insurance Program, which has already contributed more than $4 billion towards deficit reduction, and $12 billion overall in spending reductions since 2008. Congress needs to evaluate the economic impact of weakening the primary safety net on which farmers and our rural economy can rely.”