Congress Needs to Hold True to Crop Insurance Promise

 

The agricultural community is working to ensure Congress lives up to its promise to keep the farm safety net intact.

Last month, lawmakers in Washington included a provision to cut crop insurance in a last-minute budget deal. Before Congress passed it, House and Senate Ag Committee leaders were able to secure a commitment that this cut would be reversed in the next spending bill.

Mike Torrey is with the Crop Insurance Reinsurance Bureau in Washington D.C. He says he and others in the agricultural community are determined to make certain Congress acts to roll back the cuts.…

“We are working with leadership and other friends of the industry in congressional offices to make sure that that commitment is followed through on.”

That’s why a diverse group of farming organizations and agriculture businesses sent a letter to Congress reminding them how important crop insurance is not just for farmers but for all of rural America…

“It’s not always been perfect. The program has been evolving for several years.  But, what it has allowed is the bankers, those that provide inputs to have some certainty, and oh, by the way, the farmer, to have some certainty in their planning.  They’re walking into a year when they, obviously a lot of unexpected issues that could occur.  Whether it’s a price loss, or a weather loss, so it’s provided us certainty.”

With little time remaining in this session of Congress, Torrey says it’s critical that farmers and ranchers get involved by pressing lawmakers to restore cuts to crop insurance in the next spending bill. He encourages folks to visit the website crop insurance dot org  (www.cropinsurance.org) to learn how to stay engaged…

“Sometimes if you’re sitting there on the tractor, or your behind the desk at the bank, or in you’re in your implement dealership, and you know these issues are happening in Washington, and oftentimes you go on about doing what you’re going to do, thinking that someone else is going to make that call, and I cannot emphasize enough that times have changed.

“If the farm community wants to ensure that no more cuts come from agriculture because they’ve already ‘given at the office’, alright, they’ve been giving for the last five years.  Take five minutes, call your senator, call your congressman and tell them ‘enough is enough, no more’.  Make the call, and ask them to stop making the cuts and to restore and fix as what was a part of the debt ceiling package.”

Lawmakers will need to pass an omnibus spending bill to prevent a government shutdown by December 11. That’s when a stopgap measure, known as a continuing resolution, is set to expire.


A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.

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