Legislators should leave crop insurance alone, as it is key to keeping America's family farms functioning, according to feedback from producers to NCIS. The USDA reports that crop insurance is utilized by about 66% of medium-sized farms and 75% of large farms.
Because crop production profit margins can be tight, farmers must make careful decisions on their crop insurance plans, advises crop insurance agent Jan Muller of United Group Insurance. "We have great hybrids, we have fertilizer, we have soil testing, but the things we can't control are the weather and prices and that's what crop insurance allows us to do," she said.
Among the most important risk management decisions farmers must make every year is which crop insurance policy will work best for them in managing their risk, writes Farm Management Analyst Kent Thiesse. Making accurate comparisons and increasing coverage levels are significant considerations, he writes.
Farmers played a key role in preserving crop insurance in the farm bill by telling legislators that the system is working for them and should not be changed. "Crop insurance [is a] critical tool for risk management, not only for farmers and rural communities, but also for the government," Illinois farmer Heather Hampton Knodle said.
Preserving and maintaining crop insurance helps keep Minnesota farms operating, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., writes. The recently passed 2018 farm bill "included a number of improvements to the farm safety net, like protecting and expanding crop insurance," she writes.
Farmers are increasingly using digital tools to stay on top of their risk management modeling and crop insurance claim-tracking processes. Crop insurance firms are boosting the options for such technological platforms so farmers can get customized information quickly and easily.