Success of Crop Insurance Program Speaks for Itself, Fundamental in the Shaping of Next Farm BillWed, 16 Nov 2016 17:18:19 CST
With wheat prices looking dim, dry conditions and deadlines looming, farmers are being constantly reminded of the importance for retaining crop insurance. RON's Associate Farm Director Carson Horn spoke to Tom Zacharias, president of National Crop Insurance Services, during the recent National Association of Farm Broadcasters convention this past week, who asserts that the success of federal crop insurance programs speaks for itself.
We're winding down the claim season which this year has been pretty good - crops in general are good," Zacharias said. "Coverage in this program is about 80-85 percent of planted acres, about 290 million acres covered. It's pretty much become a 24/7 business."
As early talks of the 2018 Farm Bill begin to sprout up in the national discussion, Zacharias says crop insurance programs, though a daunting prospect, will be fundamental in crafting the next bill.
"Quite frankly the idea of it being time to do another one is like, 'Oh my goodness,' but that said - the industry is in a position to respond to the risk management needs of this country," Zacharias said. "We will sit down with the new administration, work with Congress and as we hear the needs coming up for the next Farm Bill, we'll work that out and implement what's needed for American's farmers."
Regarding the recent election, Zacharias believes crop insurance would have found support whatever the results would have been. He says the program has always enjoyed bipartisan support historically, saying that it is a program that works. Nonetheless, certain groups still find issue with the program.
"We have experienced that there will always be critics of the farm policy in general and since crop insurance has taken the lynch pin role, we will be the target of the object of that criticism," Zacharias said. "But again, even the critics have to admit you have a process where farmers are involved, they have skin in the game, we have risk sharing on lots of different levels and I think we stand up well to our critics. We've got a good story to tell. Look at the participation in the program. The success of crop insurance speaks to our critics."
Listen to Horn's full conversation with Zacharias about the success of the federal crop insurance program and the integral role it will play in shaping the next Farm Bill, by clicking the LISTEN BAR below.
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