Crop insurance costs could rise steeply with climate change

Climate change is expected to lower U.S. corn, soybean, and wheat production and drive up the cost of the federally subsidized crop insurance program. The increase could be as small as 4 percent or as large as 37 percent, depending on how much temperatures rise and whether mitigation efforts are effective, said a USDA report on Monday.

Indemnities could soar to $3.6 billion for prevented planting

The wettest spring in a quarter-century may lead to the largest crop insurance payout since 2000 to farmers unable to plant corn and soybeans, said a university economist. He spoke ahead of a USDA report today that will project the impact of a cold and rainy spring on this fall’s harvest.

Summer shower of federal cash to follow rainy spring in Farm Belt

Farmers can expect a deluge of federal payments in the weeks ahead to cushion the effect of farm exports lost to the trade war and plantings washed away by the rainiest spring in a quarter-century, say analysts. "It's probably going to be August" when the biggest shower of payments begins, the multibillion-dollar, stop-gap Market Facilitation Program, according to Agriculture Undersecretary Bill Northey, who oversees farm subsidies.

USDA expects storm-related planting claims to top $1 billion

The USDA expects storm-ravaged farmers to file more than $1 billion in prevented-planting claims for fields they could not plant this year due to heavy rains and flooding, according to press reports.

Profits won’t sprout from shower of prevented-planting payments

Some growers may collect three or even four payments on land where they were unable to plant a crop this spring due to persistent rain and flooding, but no one is going to get rich off of it, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Wednesday.

Difficult choices when crop insurance, disaster aid and Trump’s bailout intersect

The farm safety net offers many strands of support to farmers swamped by a historically slow planting season, but the strands pull in different directions, says associate professor Bradley Lubben, of the University of Nebraska. "The complexity for producer decision-making is compounded," he said, when potential Trump tariff payments and disaster aid are woven into traditional crop subsidies and crop insurance.

With an eye to forage, USDA changes hay and graze rules

The USDA announced a one-time change on Thursday to its rules on harvesting forage and grazing livestock on prevented-planting cropland. The move was meant to assure there will be enough livestock feed this year, particularly for dairy cattle.

Chaotic spring may lead Trump administration to loosen limits on trade aid

USDA lawyers may have an answer this week on whether Trump tariff payments, intended to mitigate the impact of the trade war, can be given to farmers unable to plant a crop this year, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday.

Corn losses in rainy spring will be “similar to a severe drought” in scope

Heading into the final week of May, U.S. farmers have planted only 46 percent of the corn and soybean acreage that they intended this year, due to the rainy spring. Economist Todd Hubbs of the University of Illinois said on Tuesday the setback to the corn crop “appears set to hit a level …

Sanders calls for ag trust-busters, large government role in farming

Fundamental change in U.S. agricultural and rural policy is "an absolute necessity," said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday in calling for Teddy "Roosevelt-style trust-busting laws to stop monopolization of markets and break up massive agribusinesses." In a position paper, Sanders, pursuing the Democratic nomination for president, endorsed supply management — federal control over farm production — higher minimum prices for major commodities such as grain and milk and a return to a government-owned grain reserve "to alleviate the need for government subsidies and ensure we have a food supply in case of extreme weather events."