Senate leaders still unhappy with crop insurance changes

Sixteen U.S. senators, including the Agriculture Committee’s top Democrat and Republican, sent the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) a letter on July 2 urging the administration to modify its proposed $6 billion in cuts to crop insurance. In the letter, the senators note that the $6 billion in proposed cuts over the next ten years will severely constrain the CBO baseline for the next farm bill. The senators recognized that although USDA’s plan is to utilize a portion of the savings to expand certain crop insurance coverage and enrollment of acres into the Conservation Reserve Program and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program is intended to respond to concerns about reductions to the farm bill baseline, “it is unclear what the exact impact will be on the baseline.”