Insurers Slam Crop Insurance Program Cuts

Proposed cuts for the U.S. Agriculture Department’s subsidy to the crop insurance program are excessive and will likely lead to more consolidation in a shrinking private crop insurance industry, an insurers’ representative told the agency. Robert Parkerson, president of National Crop Insurance Services, which represents the carriers in talks with the Agriculture Department, made his comments as the NCIS submitted a counterproposal to the Agriculture Department this week. He said the original December proposal by the USDA/Risk Management Agency “would substantially change the structure of the crop insurance program.” Specifically, he said, it would result in an estimated reduction in funding of approximately $800 million per year over the next five years. This $4 billion cut would be in addition to the $6.4 billion cut mandated by the 2008 farm bill.