Ag groups: protect crop insurance against any potential budget cuts

A coalition of more than 60 agricultural groups is asking the administration and Congress to protect federal crop insurance during the upcoming budget and appropriations processes.

Wayne Stoskopf is the director of public policy with the National Corn Growers Association.

“The National Corn Growers Association and other commodity groups are part of a large coalition that works every year to protect crop insurance through the budget process. Now that we’re in a farm bill year that effort has been elevated. We want to make sure that the administration, through the president’s budget or Congress as they begin their farm bill process, are not looking toward federal crop insurance as a piggy bank for any other priorities,” he says. “Overall, the programs work well for our growers. They are responsive in terms of when disasters strike in getting assistance out quickly. Our key message is, don’t look at crop insurance for a place to cut.”

He tells Brownfield crop insurance helps growers manage risk.

“Members purchase a policy that is designed to cover a lot of the risks that they’re facing, whether that is revenue, yield, or specific perils as well and the program generally works,” he says. “There are certainly improvements that can be made, but overall the public-private partnership between USDA and insurance companies and producers with skin in the game has worked well for several farm bills and we want to see that continue.  

Stoskopf says education on the importance of crop insurance is needed.

“Our number one priority for the farm bill is protecting crop insurance from harmful budget cuts and reforms. We want to make sure that we’re not seeing any chance of that happening through the farm bill or budget processes,” he says. “We do have critics of federal farm programs including crop insurance and we want to be educating members and their staff on the importance of programs to the producers.”

Other groups in the coalition include: Agricultural Retailers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, American Sugar Alliance, American Sugarbeet Growers Association, National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Barley Growers Association, National Cotton Council, National Farmers Union, National Peach Council, National Potato Council, National Sorghum Producers, National Sunflower Association, U.S. Apple Association, U.S. Canola Association, U.S. Durum Wheat Growers Association, U.S. Peanut Federation, USA Rice, and more.

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