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Crop insurance rises to top of farm bill discussion

Panelists on a forum called “Designing the Ideal Farm Bill” stressed the need to improve and protect crop insurance during Minnesota Farmfest Wednesday. 

Former Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson helped write the past four farm bills and says the current disaster programs will probably be extended.

“So we’re going to have four years of disaster payments, they’re not paid for and the farmer is not actually contributing to it.”

Peterson says that means the next farm bill will need to cover more crops.

“And we have it set up in a way that works so you can buy the protection you need to get through years like the one we’re having right now.”

National Corn Growers Association vice president Tom Haag tells Brownfield about 92 percent of row crop acres are covered by crop insurance.

“And (crop insurance) is vitally important to the younger generations so they can continue to keep farming. And there’s politicians out in D.C. that would like to do away with it because they think it’s a handout to us.”

Former American Soybean Association president Mike Yost describes farming as a weather-dependent, capital-intensive business.

“And as was mentioned, crop insurance helps mitigate some of that risk.”

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