Congressmen and commodity group leaders participating in the annual Crop Insurance Industry Convention talked about the need to be proactive in addressing threats and opportunities for the crop insurance program.
The Trump Administration proposed another blow to the crop insurance industry in the president’s annual budget, but Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kans., made it clear that risk management tools should not be cut because they are crucial for both farmers and consumers.
President Donald Trump’s election-year budget proposes $1 trillion in infrastructure spending, including $25 billion earmarked for rural America, while reprising recommendations for slashing farm programs and nutrition assistance.
Many hemp producers will be eligible for multi-peril crop insurance this year, and other growers could qualify for Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program that provides aid to growers who don't have access to conventional crop insurance.
Growers paid over $10 billion to insure almost 380 million acres in 2019. By year-end, crop insurance companies paid out almost $7.6 billion to cover losses and the numbers are expected to grow as all claims are finalized.
A five-year, USDA-funded study says that producers can’t get the insurance coverage they need either because it’s unavailable for their particular crops or won’t cover their losses adequately because of the conservation practices they follow.
Prevented planting insurance claims could easily set a record this year despite lower limits on coverage imposed by the Agriculture Department because of concerns that growers were being overpaid in the past.
An insurance policy created to help diversified operations, specialty crop growers and small farms better manage their risk has slipped in popularity over the past two years, but advocates say a series of changes USDA is making in the program could reverse the decline.