Farm Bill Advice: Tread Carefully When Altering Crop Insurance Policy

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

With a record $9.7 billion in indemnities already paid out on 2011 damages, and farmers preparing to plant another impressive crop just months after one of the worst weather years in U.S. history, the current crop insurance system is earning high praise from agricultural leaders and lawmakers alike.

But in a new peer-reviewed analysis that appeared in January’s Choices magazine, former USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins and Harun Bulut, National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) senior economist, explained that many proposals to alter crop insurance policy in the 2012 farm bill could hold serious ramifications for farmers and taxpayers, and could weaken the very system that proved so crucial last year.

Among the shortfalls they highlighted: Displacing private-sector crop insurance with duplicative government-run programs; saddling farmers and taxpayers with greater risk exposure; increasing program complexity; increasing taxpayer cost; and reducing farmer participation and coverage levels.

Read More: Southeast Farm Press