Farm bill cements crop insurance as cornerstone of farm policy
NCIS President Tom Zacharias pointed out that the ability of farmers to quickly recover from the 2012 drought demonstrated the role crop insurance plays in risk management and recovery for farmers. “The fact that farmers were able to bounce back with a vengeance from the worst drought in decades and plant bumper crops, all without a call for disaster assistance to Congress underscores the value farmers place on crop insurance and why they are buying it up and protecting a record number of acres,” he said.
Zacharias noted that 2013 had been a remarkable year for both farmers and the industry. He noted that last year farmers spent more on purchasing crop insurance than the previous year, more acres were protected and total liabilities protected increased.
Looking ahead, USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator Brandon Willis, told the crowd that cooperation between the agency and crop insurers would be essential during implementation. "There is not an agency that I would rather implement a Farm Bill with than the team that we have at the Risk Management Agency. I have a high degree of confidence that the staff we have there will get this done right," he said. "Throughout the process, we will work with our [private sector] partners, because I know you bring valuable experience … and a perspective that we don't have," he said.
Willis complimented crop insurers for their service record following the historic 2012 drought and for their hard work when the government was shut down earlier this year. Constantly improving crop insurance availability, program integrity and communicating with farmers and the general public should be top goals of both the industry and RMA moving forward, he said.
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