Crop Insurance Today - 23

Leaders of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees provided their priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill at the Agri-Pulse event.
Left to right: Rep. Peterson, Sen. Stabenow, Rep. Conaway, and Sen. Roberts.

commodities and when disaster strikes, the indemnity check is in our bank account much sooner than any other USDA program."
Tom Lahey, vice president of the Kansas Cotton Association, also praised crop insurance as
way to mitigate agricultural risk.
"Federal crop insurance provides an effective
risk management tool to farmers and ranchers of
all sizes when they are facing losses beyond their
control, reduces taxpayer risk exposure, makes
hedging possible to help mitigate market volatility and provides lenders with greater certainty that loans made to producers will be repaid,"
he said.
Representatives from the Kansas Soybean
Association and Kansas Sunflower Commission
agreed and cited crop insurance as a top priority
for their organizations.
Kenneth Wood, president of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, also pointed to crop
insurance as the most important component of
the farm safety net.
Crop insurance, he testified, was a significant
factor in his decision to rebuild last spring after
an E4 tornado destroyed his home, vehicles, machinery and approximately 300 acres of crops.
"When a natural disaster looms on the horizon, whether it is a drought, flood, hail storm, or
in my case, a tornado, we know that crop insurance will help keep us in business," Wood said.
Corn farmer Kent Moore, testifying on behalf
of the Kansas Corn Growers Association, warned
that despite the widespread support for crop insurance, there will be attacks by special interest
groups looking to harm agriculture.
"I wonder if anyone understands the need for
a solid crop insurance program more than the

Kansas farmer," Moore asked. "Drought, hail,
wind and floods can ravage farms and sometimes
Kansas farmers can experience all of these disasters in the same year. Unlike car insurance, crop
insurance protects us against systemic risk."
He concluded, "Every year, we hope we don't
collect a crop insurance payment, but when we
do have a loss, crop insurance provides critical
support to farmers and the rural communities
that serve agriculture."
The Kansas field hearing was the first of many
to come, whether in D.C. or in the field. But Congress isn't the only group talking about the 2018
Farm Bill.
On March 20, Agri-Pulse Communications,
a news organization that provides coverage on
agriculture issues, hosted the first-ever Farm Bill
Summit. This day-long event featured speakers
and panelists from all aspects of agriculture, conservation, food, and nutrition.
"Harvesting Farm Bill Perspectives" was held
at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
with more than 400 people in attendance.
Major agricultural organizations helped to
sponsor the event and provide insight into the

Zacharias noted that crop
insurance is the "cornerstone" of the farm safety
net, and highlighted a
few of the program's key
components that have
contributed to its success.

development of the next farm bill. Panels covered a range of topics, from "Breaking Down the
Baseline and Budget Challenges" to "Bridging the
Gaps Between Farm and Food Policy." The event
included appearances and comments from the
House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders of both parties.
Tom Zacharias, president of NCIS, was
among the speakers invited to address the Summit. He stressed the role crop insurance plays in
ensuring a strong and vibrant agricultural sector,
which is critical to the well-being of our economy
and society as a whole.
"The role of both state and federally regulated
crop insurance is to help provide financial stability to the agricultural sector in combination with
other farm-level risk management strategies such
sound marketing and good financial planning, as
well as other USDA programs designed to support American agriculture," Zacharias said.
Zacharias noted that crop insurance is the
"cornerstone" of the farm safety net, and highlighted a few of the program's key components
that have contributed to its success. These characteristics include the fact that crop insurance is
contractually based, that farmers have "skin in
the game" and that they only receive a crop insurance payment in the event of an insured loss.
President of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), Zippy Duvall, also addressed the
issue of the upcoming farm bill, pointing out the
different circumstances farmers and ranchers are
in as the last bill was being written and the economic climate now.
"The biggest problem with writing the next
farm bill will be resources," Duvall emphasized.
"The baseline that the CBO (Congressional
CROPINSURANCE TODAY®

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