Chambliss Examines Crop Insurance Performance
Goals met for coverage, but livestock protection incomplete
September 18, 2002 – Risk Management Subcommittee Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) convened a hearing Wednesday to review USDA's implementation of crop insurance reforms enacted by the "Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000," as well as the overall effectiveness of the Federal Crop Insurance Program as a risk management tool for producers.
"Since the enactment of the 2000 crop insurance reform measure, participation in higher coverage levels of the program has increased. Insured acres have increased. We have seen a number of positive results of the legislation. But there are also some areas of the crop insurance program with room for improvement, such as the availability of risk management tools for the livestock sector. In light of discussions surrounding disaster assistance, this Subcommittee hopes to understand if the crop insurance program is, in fact, fulfilling its role as a tool for managing risk," said Subcommittee Chairman Chambliss.
Under newly-enacted crop insurance reforms, farmers have sought and received more insurance protection for the value of their crops, although policies pioneered specifically for livestock have had limited availability.
RMA's Davidson stated, "We are working diligently to extend much needed protection to America's ranchers. Our first two livestock pilots for swine were introduced this summer and other products are under Board review. We are also endeavoring to refine, develop and expand forage and rangeland programs."
Wednesday's hearing is the second crop insurance oversight hearing of the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee this year. "This hearing has reassured me that since Ross Davidson came on board as Risk Management Agency Administrator in the spring of this year, he has become familiar with those impacted by the program and ways this risk management tool can be improved. I hope he will continue to show enthusiasm and productivity in his administration of the program," said Chambliss.
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