Crop insurance providers today released the first in a series of educational videos meant to highlight three policy attributes that are essential to maintaining a strong crop insurance system in the face of future market and weather challenges.

The first three-minute segment examines the widespread availability of crop insurance, whereas future videos will look at the affordability of policies and the viability of private-sector delivery.

“Congress cemented crop insurance’s role as the centerpiece of the farm safety net during the 2014 Farm Bill,” explained Tom Zacharias, president of National Crop Insurance Services, the trade group that sponsored the video series.  “However, that safety net will collapse if crop insurance policies aren’t widely available, aren’t affordable to producers, and aren’t economically viable to be administered by efficient private insurance providers.”

According to the first video, “Crop insurance is similar to other kinds of insurance. The more people who purchase policies, the more people who help share risk.  And when risk can be spread out along a broader base, it helps lower the cost for everyone.”

That is why it is it is so important for insurance to be available for all kinds of crops and to farmers of all sizes and backgrounds, NCIS noted.

“The more the merrier.  From corn and cotton to cherries and canola, every single acre enrolled helps strengthen the whole system,” the video explained.

The recently passed Farm Bill took big steps to make crop insurance more available to beginning farmers, organic producers, and fruit and vegetable growers.  Lawmakers also stopped legislative attempts to reduce insurance benefits available to larger farms – a plan that would have raised costs on all farmers and increased taxpayers’ risk exposure

“Congress got it right by making crop insurance more widely available and stronger than ever.  Now, we just need to keep it that way,” the video concluded.  “After all, not everyone farms, but everyone eats.  So everyone depends on a strong farm policy.”

The NCIS video can be viewed here.  Segments on affordability and viability will be released in the coming weeks.

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