Setting the Record Straight on Crop Insurance

By Tom Zacharias, National Crop Insurance Services

Admittedly, opponents of farm policy attract more headlines than the men and women who put food on our tables and clothes on our backs.

Then again, it is far easier to get attention with sensationalist claims and unsubstantiated data.

Take the drought of 2012 for example. Opponents of crop insurance made news by claiming that taxpayers would be responsible for as much as $40 billion. Critics called crop insurance a farmer bailout and said things like farmers were “laughing all the way to the bank” and were “praying for drought, not praying for rain.”

Never were these anti-agriculture activists and for-hire university economists criticized for their bombastic tone or baseless predictions that turned out to be incredibly inaccurate.

Sure, farmers tried to set the record straight, but supporting a farm policy that helped protect taxpayer dollars is not as glamorous as inflated estimates and inflammatory rhetoric.

Now, crop insurance opponents are at it again as Congress prepares to negotiate a farm bill. Farmers have been accused of “taking bribes.” Farmers even have been compared to cheap drunks at an open bar and told to pay their fair share.

Use of such language and misleading information…