A coalition of industry groups has sent letters encouraging federal officials to protect crop insurance. Letters were sent to lawmakers in the House and Senate budget and appropriations committees. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and leaders at the Office of Management and Budget were also sent similar letters. The coalition highlights the value that crop insurance provides to the agricultural community, particularly during difficult times.
“The last several years have brought an onslaught of uncertainty for America’s farmers and ranchers-from weather extremes to the disruptions of international markets to COVID-19 and all of its unique challenges,” the letter states. “During this tumultuous time, one of the few certainties that farmers could rely on was the protection provided by their Federal crop insurance policy.”
Nearly 60 different organizations representing farming, banking, and conservation interests make up the coalition. Some of the groups include the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, American Farmland Trust, and National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. Lawmakers are at work considering provisions of the budget for the fiscal year 2022. The coalition wants to ensure that the critical role that crop insurance plays in agriculture is acknowledged.
“USDA and Congress have taken extraordinary ad hoc measures over the past three years to ensure the financial security of rural America,” the letter reads. “It would only serve to undercut these efforts to propose harmful changes to a crop insurance program that provides predictable, within-budget assistance to farmers in a way that helps lenders continue to support America’s farmers and ranchers.”
The coalition notes that farmers, lenders, and lawmakers alike agree that crop insurance is vital to rural communities. Farmers have often described it as a lifeline in times of struggle. “We urge you to continue to support a linchpin of the safety net for America’s farmers and ranchers and oppose cuts to crop insurance during this year’s budget process,” the letter concludes.