Protect Crop Insurance
PIA opposes cuts to crop insurance in the appropriations process and supports the vital role that independent agents play in the delivery of crop insurance.
The federal crop insurance program is a highly technical program that relies on the expertise of independent insurance agents. Crop insurance provides our nation’s farmers with the ability to manage their risk and provide a safe, strong, and dependable food supply. Under the federal crop insurance program, private-sector insurance carriers must offer insurance to growers who are eligible for coverage and would like to purchase it.
Additionally, crop insurers do not have control over premium setting. Farmers’ rates are calculated by the United States Department of Agriculture and do not change like other lines of insurance. In 2020, 1.1 million polices were sold protecting more than 130 different crops covering almost 400 million acres, with an insured value of more than $113 billion.
The agricultural economy has experienced extraordinary volatility lately, and the tumult has taken its toll on farmers throughout the country. The agriculture sector was confronting this difficult economic reality even before COVID-19 further ravaged it and other businesses. Farm debt has increased nearly 60 percent over the last decade, and it now stands at over $400 billion.
Opposing Crop Insurance Cuts
Despite the critical role crop insurance plays in protecting farmers from economic disaster and supporting the rural economy, administrations from both parties have tried to cut funding to the crop insurance program using the budget and appropriations process in recent years. Last year, the FY21 budget request recommended an eight percent cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and crop insurance specifically would have been cut by $25 billion over the next decade. In 2015, a budget package included a $3 billion cut to the program, but PIA and its allies successfully pushed for a measure to reverse the cuts. PIA and its allies have time and time again protected the crop insurance program from such cuts.
Cuts to the program will compromise the affordability and availability of crop insurance for farmers, seriously undermining the strength of the farm safety net during a time of real struggle around the country, particularly for farmers and rural America. Now is not the time to slash the federal crop insurance program, on which so many farmers and ranchers rely to stay afloat.
PIA has been working with a coalition of organizations that represent every part of the supply chain to oppose attempts to cut the federal crop insurance program.
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