crop insurance

House Republicans embrace ‘pretty radical’ farm bill ideas — Vilsack

Most of the Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee — 21 of 29 — support "pretty radical" farm bill proposals at a time when only a bipartisan bill is sure of enactment, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday. "It just underscores the difficulty of getting to a farm bill" when control of Congress is almost evenly divided, he said.

Farm-state GOP senators call for higher crop insurance subsidies

Republicans on the Senate Agriculture Committee proposed a $4 billion injection into the crop insurance program so that the government would pay a larger share of the premiums on policies offering the highest levels of coverage. "We need more farm in the farm bill to get it passed," said Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota, the lead sponsor, on Tuesday.

Farm bill odds growing longer, says analyst

There is little reason for optimism that Congress will pass the new farm bill this year, wrote farm policy expert Jonathan Coppess on Thursday as part of an analysis showing that farm program payments favor Southern growers. “The chances of farm bill reauthorization in 2024 grow more dim with each passing day,” he said.

House conservatives would rewrite farm supports in Trump’s name

Congress would cut off crop subsidies to wealthy farmers and require growers to pay at least half of the cost of crop insurance premiums if it adopted the policies proposed by Donald Trump when he was president, said the Republican Study Committee in its budget outline for this fiscal year. The group, which speaks for social and fiscal conservatives, said its budget "adopts many of the reforms proposed by the Trump administration to reform and streamline federal spending on agricultural programs."

Republicans would put half of climate funding into commodity subsidies, says Stabenow

Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow rejected on Thursday a Republican proposal to move several billion dollars of climate funds into the commodity title of the farm bill. “No, the answer to that is no,” Stabenow said at an expo on climate-smart agriculture practices.

‘We need a safety net that works,’ say farm-state senators

Pointing to forecasts of a second year in a row of falling farm income, Republican senators called for more money for farm subsidies on Wednesday. “We’ve got to get it right for production agriculture” in the new farm bill, said North Dakota’s John Hoeven at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing.

Crop insurance costs to leap by 29 percent, says CBO

The federally subsidized crop insurance program will cost an additional $27.7 billion over the coming decade, said the Congressional Budget Office in projections released on Monday. The government pays roughly 62 cents of each $1 in premiums, and sales of livestock and forage policies are exploding.

Stabenow says ‘the time to act is now’ on farm bill

Farm-state lawmakers should take advantage of an offer of billions of dollars in new resources and negotiate the new farm bill now, said Senate Agriculture Committee chairwoman Debbie Stabenow. The Michigan Democrat called for action following a USDA forecast of a steep drop in farm income and a Congressional Budget Office forecast of lower SNAP costs for years to come.

House conservatives oppose higher subsidies in new farm bill

Half a dozen House Republicans pushed back on Wednesday against a drive by farm groups for higher reference prices in the new farm bill, while analysts said that an expansion of federally subsidized crop insurance could cost nearly $600 million a year. Farm groups say that despite high farm income, a stronger safety net is needed because of increased production costs.

Crop insurance reform could save billions of dollars — GAO

Congress could achieve significant savings in the crop insurance program by reducing guaranteed payments to insurers and requiring wealthy operators to pay more for taxpayer-subsidized coverage, said the Government Accountability Office on Monday. The reforms could save billions of dollars on a program estimated to cost $101 billion over the next decade.

USDA says $3 billion available to offset 2022 disasters

Row crop and specialty crop growers are eligible for more than $3 billion from the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) to offset losses from natural disasters in 2022, said the USDA. Administrator Zach Ducheneaux of the Farm Services Agency said 2022 "was another year of weather-related challenges — for some, the third consecutive year or more in a row."

Stabenow sees farm bill passage in 2024, later than hoped

The new farm bill will not enacted until next year because of continuing disagreements over issues such SNAP benefits and higher crop subsidies, said Senate Agriculture Committee chair Debbie Stabenow on Wednesday. “I am committed to passing a strong, bipartisan farm bill as soon as possible,” she said, but the process is taking longer than hoped.

Farm bill deliberations may stretch into 2024, analysts say

Congress could be even later than expected in completing the new farm bill, said two farm policy experts during a webinar on Tuesday, four days before the current law expires. House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders are now aiming for passage of the 2023 farm bill by the end of December, but closed-door negotiations have moved slowly.

Lawmaker proposes income and subsidy limits for crop insurance

The government would save money and better target the crop insurance system toward small and mid-sized farmers by denying subsidized policies to the wealthiest growers and by limiting the value of premium subsidies to eligible farmers, said Rep. Earl Blumenauer on Tuesday. The restrictions would reduce the cost of crop insurance by an estimated $2.7 billion a year, a quarter of its projected cost over the next 10 years.

Reformers call for farm bill ‘guardrails’ on crop insurance

Congress should make the wealthiest farmers pay a larger share of the cost of taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance and hold the line on crop subsidies in the new farm bill, said a half dozen think tanks, budget hawks, and environmental groups on Wednesday. “There is no obvious or urgent need to increase farm subsidies,” said Nan Swift of the R Street Institute, despite the appeals of farm groups.

Don’t water down climate funding, says Stabenow

Senate Agriculture Committee chair Debbie Stabenow curtly rejected on Thursday a suggestion to divert climate change funding for agriculture to more generalized soil and water conservation work. “I know that there is a broad coalition of support standing with me,” she said.

Stronger farm bill is antidote for weakening income, says GOP report

Congress should provide a “meaningful enhancement” of crop subsidies and the crop insurance program in light of declining farm income, said Republican staff workers on the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday. “Headwinds persist in the U.S. farm economy,” they said in a report, pointing to a slowdown in farm exports, weakening commodity prices, high production costs, and rising interest rates.

Insuring desert farms against heat-related losses is bad policy

Studies have repeatedly shown that federally subsidized crop insurance discourages farmers from updating their practices, tools, or strategies in ways that would help them adapt to climate change — but the federal government still subsidizes a whopping 62 percent of farmers’ insurance premiums.

Farmers are becoming more doubtful of a farm bill in 2023

Two out of three crop and livestock producers say they are uncertain or believe Congress is unlikely to enact a new farm bill this year, said a Purdue University survey on Tuesday. Neither the Senate nor House Agriculture committees has unveiled a preliminary version of the bill or scheduled a bill-drafting session, an unusually slow start.

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