The Ag Minute: Crop Insurance is a Sound Investment to Ensure a Stable & Affordable Food Supply

Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184

WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, Rep. Frank Lucas discusses the importance of crop insurance for farmers all across the country to help them manage risk. Today, crop insurance covers 128 crops, 282 million acres, and serves as a good example of a private-public partnership where producers pay a premium for coverage. During a series of hearings on farm policy last year, farmers explained that crop insurance is an essential risk management tool that should be preserved.

Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.

"Take a road trip across our country and you’ll easily see the diversity of American agriculture.  Our farmers produce different crops, employ different growing techniques, and face unique market and weather risks.

"Despite these differences, our farmers have at least one thing in common:  a belief that crop insurance is a vital risk management tool that must be preserved.  

"Farmers borrow more money in a single year than most Americans will borrow in a lifetime just to produce a crop.  The recent drought across the country can attest to the fact that when a farmer loses a crop due to a natural disaster, it’s likely that every farmer in that area is suffering the same loss.

"Without crop insurance, these farmers would have no way to recover from these devastating conditions unless the government would step in to provide immediate, unplanned, and unbudgeted disaster assistance.  With crop insurance, farmers are able to plan for disasters by paying for coverage.  This coverage doesn’t make them whole, but rather helps them survive.

"Meanwhile, crop insurance has been on the front line of budget savings:  $17 billion worth over the past five years, even before sequestration. 

"Today, federal crop insurance is a success story serving as a good example of a private-public partnership.  There are ongoing efforts to improve the program, but the bottom line is, crop insurance is a sound investment to ensure a stable and affordable food supply."

The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.