Soy Growers Oppose Proposed Cuts to Crop Insurance

first_imgASA and industry partners urged House and Senate budget committee members to recognize the importance of crop insurance to farmers, lenders and all of rural America in in a letter to Congress earlier this week. The group is concerned with disabling cuts to crop insurance programs in President Barack Obama’s proposed FY2016 budget and emphasized how crop insurance has contributed more than $1.2 billion a year towards reducing government spending since the 2008 Farm Bill.“Therefore, we strongly oppose the President’s budget proposal to make crippling cuts to crop insurance,” they said.  “Attacking farmers’ most important risk management tool only weakens the farm safety net in the bipartisan farm bill that Congress carefully crafted after years of deliberation and more than 40 hearings.”The group stressed that this farm bill places greater emphasis on risk management than previous farm bills and farmers spend approximately $4 billion a year of their own money to purchase insurance from the private sector, which is far more efficient and effective than government-run crop insurance delivery systems.The letter also underscored how crop insurance enabled the country to face back-to-back years of wide scale natural disasters, including the historic drought of 2012, without a single ad hoc disaster bill introduced for cropland.“Budget levels currently in place for crop insurance ensure the affordability and availability of risk protection, while maintaining the viability of private-sector delivery,” the groups said in remarks. “Arbitrary funding reductions only weaken the system and ultimately shift risk exposure back to taxpayers.”Also this week, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced a bill (S. 345) to cap the premium subsidy for crop insurance at $50,000, which the Crop Insurance Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB) said violates fundamental principles and would take farm policy back to the days of annual ad hoc disaster bills instead of the tried and true system of risk management that exists today.The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has called a cap on premium support “ill advised,” noting regions like North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Minnesota, Mississippi, and others with large- acreage farms, high-value crops and a higher risk of crop loss would be especially hard hit.Click here to read entire letter to Senate and House Budget Committee.last_img read more