The 2014 Farm Bill was clearly a turning point in federal policy for agriculture, pivoting away from the traditional support mechanism of the past and into a risk management model that features crop insurance as farmers' primary or only risk management tool. With that new emphasis comes an increased need for basic information about crop insurance, what it is, how it works and why it has become the risk management tool of choice for America's farmers. These basics are available in a video titled "Crop Insurance 101." The video, put together by National Crop Insurance Services, can be found online by clicking here video.
The video is helpful for anyone who has little to do with agriculture, or for farmers and others who now find themselves needing to know more about this important risk management tool.
Crop insurance in action—helping farmers manage weather risk
The video explains the public-private partnership that makes crop insurance products available on the market today. It also explains how crop insurance has removed some of the risk burden from taxpayers, and the role of crop insurance adjusters, and the companies they work for. The video and other information you'll find on the National Crop Insurance Services website will explain the various factors and how they play a role in the crop insurance program.
The video and the website also explain that in order to be protected by crop insurance, farmers must first purchase their policies with their own money. Already this year, farmers have spent nearly $4 billion purchasing crop insurance.
Crop insurance is sometimes criticized by people who have very little understanding of the huge risks involved in agriculture. It's true, the federal government subsidizes up to 60% of the cost of the premiums farmers pay for the insurance. But crop production is so risky and weather-dependent that the insurance companies wouldn't offer the insurance if it were not for the federal crop insurance helping to keep the insurance premiums affordable for farmers, so that they will buy crop insurance policies.
New 2014 Farm Bill informational webpage
In addition to changes in crop insurance, the 2014 Farm Bill also brought many changes to other USDA farm programs. As rules for the new USDA farm programs are being announced and put into place this fall, it is critical that farmers stay informed so they can make the right farm program decisions for their farming operation.
The Iowa Corn Growers Association has compiled a variety of resources to help farmers navigate the decision-making process that lies ahead throughout the implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill. This page will be updated regularly. Click here to access the new resource webpage.