More than 600 trade organizations and companies throughout rural America sent U.S. Senators a clear message today about crop insurance as they prepare to debate the 2018 Farm Bill.
“As you consider the 2018 Farm Bill on the Senate floor, we urge you to oppose harmful amendments to crop insurance, including those that would 1) reduce or limit participation in crop insurance, 2) make insurance more expensive for farmers during a time of economic downturn in agriculture, or 3) harm private-sector delivery,” the groups wrote in a joint letter.
The signers, which range from farm groups to financial lenders, rural businesses and conservation organizations, explained their strong support for farmers’ primary risk management tool:
Without crop insurance most producers simply could not qualify for the operating loans they need to put a crop in the ground. Due to extremely tight margins in agriculture, regulators examining agriculture lending portfolios typically insist borrowers have crop insurance.
Crop insurance is available to all types and sizes of producers in all regions.
Crop insurance provides for environmental benefits. Crop insurance requires producers to meet wetlands protections and highly erodible lands protections to be eligible for a premium discount.
Crop insurance is a rapid response solution to disasters. Private-sector delivery typically allows farmers who have losses and have met their deductible to receive indemnity payments in less than thirty days, while ad hoc disaster can take months or even years.
Crop insurance protects jobs, both on and off the farm. Crop insurance enables farmers to rebound quickly after a disaster and allows producers to pay credit obligations and other input expenses, such as fertilizer and farm equipment.
And, they noted that consumers and taxpayers benefit as well since crop insurance reduces the need for expensive, unbudgeted disaster aid packages.
“Crop insurance is food and fiber security insurance, and food and fiber security is national security,” the letter concluded. “Given the importance of crop insurance, the undersigned organizations urge you to support America’s farmers, ranchers, rural economies and national security by opposing amendments that would harm crop insurance.”
The letter can be read in its entirety here.