Crop insurance helps beginning farmers and small farms in addition to large enterprises, asserts crop insurance agent Matt Allen. "In 2015, RMA, the entity that oversees the Crop Insurance Program, reported that crop insurance helped 13,179 beginning farmers farming 3.5 million acres and saved them more that $14 million in premium," he writes.
The American Farm Bureau Federation approves of proposed crop insurance improvements in the 2018 farm bill draft prepared by the House Agriculture Committee, writes AFBF President Zippy Duvall. "We urge Congress to complete a new farm bill soon that promotes food security, a strong farm economy and the thousands of jobs that are supported by America's agricultural productivity," he writes.
Ryan Findlay, new CEO of the American Soybean Association, says crop insurance is one of the association's top three concerns for the 2018 farm bill. Findlay said the other major concerns are foreign market development and the Market Access Program because soybeans are so heavily exported.
Amendments by Republican lawmakers to the House Agriculture Committee's 2018 farm bill proposal included changes to the Agriculture Risk Coverage program that permit farmers to buy Margin Protection plans simultaneously. Such an amendment would alleviate criticism that the ARC and crop insurance coverage are duplicates of one another.
A bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors would legalize hemp, making it eligible for crop insurance and giving states regulatory authority over its production. McConnell said the proposed law, which is bypassing committees, would "give the hemp industry the tools necessary to create jobs and new opportunities for farmers and manufacturers around the country."
Texas High Plains cotton and corn farmers will face tough decisions about summer planting since a lack of winter snowfall led to drought conditions, said Jourdan Bell of Texas A&M University's AgriLife Extension Service. "For crop insurance purposes, corn needs to be planted on or before June 5 for counties in the Texas High Plains, but planting later in June shifts the critical water demand period of tasseling out of some of the hotter periods of summer," said Bell.
Applications for the federal Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnities Program will be open to Florida farmers starting July 17. Bucky Sykes of Sykes & Cooper Farms expressed concerns about being reimbursed for damages and said his loss mitigation plan includes buying crop insurance.
Iowa corn and soybean farmers planting later than usual due to wet, cold spring conditions should assess any resulting changes to their crop insurance plans, writes Steve Johnson of Iowa State University Extension. Johnson defines delayed planting, replanting and prevented planting, and he explains crop insurance considerations for each choice.
Pre-harvest marketing at least a portion of anticipated grain production is likely to increase profits, writes Brent Young of Colorado State University Extension. Revenue Protection crop insurance safeguards pre-harvest projections through price and bushel guarantees, Young adds.
Statistics already show us that farming is a hard life with fewer and fewer people willing to try it. Now is not the time to make starting a farm even more difficult by destroying the viability and affordability of crop insurance.
Joe Kessie, senior vice president and commercial south regional manager, Lake City Bank, Warsaw, Ind.