NFU President Highlights Importance of Crop Insurance

Following new criticism that federal crop insurance programs primarily benefit insurance companies and large farmers - National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson defended the importance of crop insurance. He called it vitally important for farm policy to include programs for farmers and ranchers to manage their risks of bad yields and low incomes - and said the current system does a good job of that. According to Johnson - while last summer's drought was devastating - the damage wasn't as catastrophic as it was in other bad years. He said that's largely because the crop insurance system provided a vitally necessary backstop. But Johnson also said crop insurance - particularly revenue protections - should not be considered a replacement for fair market prices.

Johnson said NFU believes crop insurance subsidies should be targeted to family-sized farmers. He noted NFU has supported reasonable limits on the amount of crop insurance premium subsides farmers can receive. During the Senate's 2012 Farm Bill debate - NFU supported an amendment that would have reduced premium subsidies by 15-percent for farms with adjusted gross incomes greater than 750-thousand dollars. Johnson added that NFU policy also supports a limit of 75-thousand dollars worth of crop insurance premium subsidies that one farmer can receive in a year.

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