Despite what farm policy critics would have you believe, farm policy is anything but a handout for farmers. In fact, newly released data from the National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) demonstrates that farmers are taking care of their own and in the process reducing the cost to the federal government.
Crop insurance is the cornerstone of the farm bill’s safety net and our job now is to make sure we don’t do anything to mess it up.
This recent headline says it all. The diversity of American agricultural production coupled with the varied growing conditions across the country and the swings in weather explains why farmers need a safety net. More importantly, it describes why crop insurance is the centerpiece of the farm safety net.
And a new study commissioned by U.S. sugar producers sheds light on the intricate web of Thai subsidies.
Farmers face a lot of risks the rest of us don’t. And given the capital requirements of farming today, each of these risks has big financial consequences.
The headline in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial read: “Paying for ethanol at the pump and on the plate.” It caught our eye for the fact that it doesn’t even pass the commonsense test. Gas prices are way down and projected to stay that way. So, too, are corn prices.
A financially healthy rural economy requires a financially healthy farm production sector. And that sector relies on a safety net when catastrophic events happen. It is a modest investment considering the return, which is a stable and affordable national food and fiber supply.
We have a strong foundation for cultivating the next generation of farmers in the 2014 Farm Bill, but the law needs to be fully implemented for any of this to matter. Although it is on the books for five years, it is likely to be under attack during the annual appropriations process.
Crop insurance products were improved in the recent farm bill because Congress recognized that these products are a necessity for farmers regardless of size. To me, a federally-supported crop insurance policy is defensible because a portion of the product’s cost is borne by the farmer.
In the midst of the spring planting season, a couple of farmers took to the opinion pages over the weekend to explain the importance of their primary risk management tool: crop insurance.
Some stereotypes about U.S. farm policy just won’t die. For example, the belief that farmers get paid for not growing; or that benefits just go to big agribusinesses; or that farm spending is out of control. Such criticisms make splashy headlines but are no longer relevant thanks to the significant evolution of farm policy over the past 20 years
“EWG has no credibility.” Farm Policy Facts has been saying this for years about the Environmental Working Group (EWG), and it looks like quite a few Capitol Hill leaders agree. The direct quote came from House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who spoke last week to The Hagstrom Report. Peterson was not alone in giving EWG a congressional smack down.
Maintaining a modest response to the cheaters by preserving U.S. farm policy is not only the right thing to do, it is also an essential means of maintaining support for trade and the only leverage the United States has in getting our trading partners to one day tear down the walls they have been so busy building.
There’s a reason the 2014 Farm Bill made crop insurance the centerpiece of U.S. farm policy. It is an effective risk management tool for not only farmers, but also taxpayers.
Sometimes it seems like farm policy critics are stuck in the past, using the same old set of talking points for every congressional debate instead of taking the time to update them to reflect the real reforms that are underway.
A recent study released from the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) sheds light on significant trade barriers American goods and services face in some of the largest export markets like China, Canada, the European Union (EU), and others.
My husband and I have been farming in Southeastern Colorado for more than 40 years, and during that time the biggest policy change through the years has been the affordability and availability of crop insurance.
We can’t assume policymakers understand the anxiety we feel when we’re days away from harvesting a good crop and it’s destroyed in a matter of minutes by something beyond our control.
Farm Policy Facts is pleased to publish a guest editorial from U.S. Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska that addresses the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.
Keith Mussman, a farmer and president of the Kankakee County Farm Bureau, took to the editorial pages of The Daily Journal a few days ago to express what is on the minds of farmers all across the country: give crop insurance and the 2014 Farm Bill a chance to work.
In times like these, Washington should be applauding the agricultural community for the contributions it has already made, not working to make things even harder by jeopardizing the one thing farmers should be able to count on: the just-passed farm safety net.
By Charles F. Conner Some of America’s best loved brands—Land O’Lakes butter, Blue Diamond almonds, Welch’s grape juice, Riceland, and Sunkist oranges, to name a few—come from cooperatives that are wholly owned by the men and women who actually grow the crops. The old adage that “necessity is the mother of invention” could reasonably describe
The critics of U.S. farm policy should feast their eyes on a new study that puts into perspective what America’s farmers are up against on the global market. While the U.S. made sweeping reforms and cuts to farm policy in the 2014 Farm Bill, its competitors were busy ramping up trade-distorting subsidies for their own
Much has been made about the President’s FY2016 budget and its proposed cuts to the risk management tools on which farmers depend. In fact, leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have been critical of the budget for its attack on crop insurance, and lawmakers recently received a pointed letter on the subject from
The critics of farm policy are so desperate to be relevant in a town bent on reform that they continue to gin up so-called news stories where none exist, using outdated numbers to point to issues long ago corrected. Poor L.A. Times for taking the bait recently and printing propaganda, instead of real news. But,
Last week, newspapers in two different and diverse regions of the country featured editorials on the importance of crop insurance, which highlights how it has become the risk management of choice for farmers nationwide. Steve Baccus, a family farmer from Kansas and the former president of the Kansas Farm Bureau, wrote in the Wichita Eagle that
On the heels of the president’s budget release that proposed harmful cuts to crop insurance, a diverse group of farming organizations, agricultural businesses, banks, and equipment manufacturers sent a letter to Capitol Hill urging legislators to reject the president’s plan and to protect crop insurance in upcoming congressional budget proposals.
The merits of having a strong farm policy, including risk management tools like crop insurance, are many times overlooked, dismissed, and even criticized by the leading papers and media outlets of the day. Instead, the critics of farm policy are given far more opportunities to rail against our nation’s secure food supply and the people
“The farm – best home of the family, main source of national wealth, foundation of civilized society, the natural providence.” One will find these wise words inscribed on the façade of Union Station in Washington, D.C. The historic site was built around the turn of the century when the nation was experiencing progress of every
In true Ebenezer Scrooge-like fashion, opponents of farm policy used Christmas Eve as a workday to criticize the men and women who helped put holiday meals on tables from coast to coast. The attack came in the form of a Dec. 24 Wall Street Journal op-ed penned by Bruce Babcock and Vincent Smith, and
Months after receiving preferential government loans, farmers in India soon will be allowed to walk away from their debts without repayment of either principal or interest, according to a Dec. 9 article by Bloomberg. The outlet explained how some in the India agricultural community are using the free money to expand at a time
Matthew King, a farmer from central Ohio, recently took to the editorial pages of the Columbus Dispatch to defend America’s current farm policy. And he gave some real-world perspective on the skin-in-the-game farmers have in today’s system. “In 2013, our farming operation’s crop-insurance premium totaled more than my wife’s annual salary as a local
When it comes to economic conditions on the farm, the theme of Reuters, Bloomberg, and some other news outlets is to speak only of bumper crops and expected higher Farm Bill costs. In the aggregate—though that is not how farmers repay their loans or obtain financing—U.S. farm income will not be up as one might
Farm Policy Facts has long stressed the importance of crop insurance to our farm safety net. We are pleased to see these same views being echoed in mainstream media, especially in light of the number of column inches given to our critics. The following column, by farmer Matthew King, appeared recently in the Columbus
The popularity of crop insurance was on full display during debate of the 2014 Farm Bill, and the phrase “do no harm to crop insurance” was uttered over and over again by farm leaders and policymakers alike when describing their policy goals. Lawmakers embraced the policy because, with crop insurance, farmers have skin in the
The passage of the 2014 Farm Bill marked a pivotal point in U.S farm policy, whereby the federal government ended direct payments in favor of crop insurance that farmers purchase to meet their unique needs. Crop insurance has been around since the 1930s and for most of that time was widely underused and unknown.
When commodity prices were strong, farm incomes were up, and the agricultural sector was credited with helping offset some of the economic misery caused by the housing crisis, not too many people seemed happy for America’s farmers. Quite the opposite. A lot of folks used the positive economic situation to attack agriculture and farm
Thailand is a behemoth in the world rice market by anyone’s definition. Using an assortment of subsidies and government programs, Thailand had grown to become the world’s biggest rice exporter by 2011. That year, it shipped 10.6 million tons of rice – or nearly one-third of global exports. Apparently, that wasn’t good enough. In
During its recent annual convention, the American Sugar Alliance unveiled two educational videos to illustrate the ever-increasing rates of foreign sugar subsidization that are destroying the free market. The first video described the stagnant, low-price environment in North America and steps taken by the U.S. sugar industry to increase its efficiency to survive, including
The number of young farmers is trending modestly upwards, according to 2012 Ag Census released earlier this year. Young, beginning principal operators who reported their primary occupation as farming increased 11.3 percent from 36,396 to 40,499 between 2007 and 2012. This increase in new blood is a welcome sight for a sector that has