Crop insurance is the cornerstone of the farm safety net, protecting more than 490 million acres across all 50 states, as well as 136 crops and 604 varieties with 36 different plans of insurance. It has earned the trust of America’s farmers by providing personalized risk management plans that quickly deliver aid in the case of a verified loss. But crop insurance is about more than just crops — learn more.
Not only do American farmers and voters trust crop insurance, Congress has repeatedly strengthened the program to give farmers more certainty, support the rural economy, and protect our national food supply. Most recently, Congress enacted changes to crop insurance in the last Farm Bill in 2018.
Not a farmer? Here are some of the ways improvements to crop insurance affect you, too:
Strengthens Voluntary Conservation Efforts
America’s farmers and ranchers are stewards of the land and our national resources. Crop insurance requires that farmers follow Good Farming Practices (GFP) appropriate for their crop and region to maintain crop insurance coverage. The 2018 Farm Bill recognized cover crops as GFP, reinforcing the coexistence of crop insurance and soil health measures. GFPs are one way crop insurance works hand-in-hand with farmers on conservation, creating a more resilient and more sustainable future for us all.
Improves Coverage for Specialty Crops and Non-Traditional Crops
Farming doesn’t just revolve around sprawling fields of corn in the Midwest. America’s farmers grow many different types of fruits and vegetables to feed millions around the world, requiring a crop insurance program that is as diverse as the crops it protects. Because of this, Congress recognized the need to increase support for specialty crop producers and added improvements to citrus fruit and tree policies and improvements to the Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) policy to the 2018 Farm Bill. A new Production Revenue History plan of insurance was also added for strawberries and fresh market tomatoes, with other specialty crops also being researched and developed.
Expands Benefits for Beginning and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers
No matter how long they have been farming, American farmers of all ages are crucial to the safety and stability of our food supply. To help beginning farmers and ranchers better navigate the risks of farming, policy premium discounts were expanded in the 2018 Farm Bill to those with ten years or less farming experience. Congress also reduced regulatory burdens and expanded the benefits available to veterans who are entering agriculture. Access to affordable and dependable crop insurance will help pave the way for future generations of American farmers.
The bipartisan support for crop insurance in the 2018 Farm Bill produced a better crop insurance program. Congress helped create more adaptable risk management tools, supporting farmers and our food supply. We look forward to seeing how Congress can utilize the next Farm Bill to expand crop insurance to more farms, more crops, and more acres.