The federal crop insurance program is always a hot topic when it comes time for Farm Bill debate. This week, leadership from both the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the American Soybean Association (ASA) sat down with AgriTalk host Mike Adams to discuss crop insurance in the 2018 Farm Bill.
“A strong, robust, viable crop insurance is absolutely critical for U.S. agriculture,” says Ron Moore, ASA president.
Recently there has been a lot of discussion about how much money insurance companies make on the federal crop insurance program. According to Wesley Spurlock, NCGA president, they are making less money off the program than some of the reports and rhetoric indicate.
“We’ve got to keep the premiums running,” he says. “You’ve got to have everybody in the system buying insurance to make it sustainable.”
During times of low commodity prices, obtaining an operating loan from the bank can be challenging for producers.
“We know that in this depressed farm economy that the bankers are going to insist on having crop insurance to get operating loans,” says Kevin Skunes, NCGA first vice-president. “Crop insurance guarantees that you’ll be able to pay the bank back.”
The leaders note that crop insurance wasn’t intended to help farmers make a profit, but to protect farm balance sheets from natural disasters.
“I don’t think crop insurance was ever intended to help us make a profit,” says Richard Wilkins, ASA chairman. “Its purpose it to help us to be able to pay off operating loans, survive and be able to farm the next year.”