National Peach Council President Chalmers Carr said that he wouldn’t be in business today if it wasn’t for crop insurance. “I do not believe that you would find very many willing lenders to participate in loaning to farming operations without crop insurance being a part of it,” said Carr in a nationally distributed National Association of Farm Broadcasters interview.
Carr hailed the changes in the 2014 Farm Bill that made crop insurance the centerpiece of the farm safety net. “Mother Nature comes in and deals you a blow that doesn’t happen but every so often, and then you do need insurance to protect yourself,” he said. “It’s no different than why you carry insurance on your automobile and homeowners insurance and everything else.”
Carr noted that the more farmers who purchase crop insurance the better, since it is less likely that a disaster in one area will affect the overall health and financial viability of the program. He says that by expanding the program’s reach, crop insurance becomes more sustainable and viable. “The problem is that young people simply don’t have the money and banks won’t lend money without crop insurance or some kind of support behind them,” he said. “We have to have a viable crop insurance program to help these young farmers get in and get started in business,” he said.
Carr said that looking ahead, one of the biggest challenges facing farmers are discussions about capping the premium discount crop insurance. “I would be out of business tomorrow, my 600 employees would be out of business and my bankers would run away from the industry,” he said. “You would see a major change in the Ag lending institutions if somebody started messing with crop insurance.”