In a joint letter yesterday, ABA and several farming industry groups called on congressional budget committees to protect crop insurance as they develop budget proposals for fiscal year 2017, urging them not to reopen the 2014 Farm Bill in their efforts to reduce the national deficit.
“An overreliance on savings from the agriculture community in the future will greatly undermine rural economies that have faced an estimated 54 percent decline in net farm income from 2013 to 2015,” the groups wrote. “In these challenging economic circumstances, it is federal crop insurance that will provide lenders the assurances they need to provide capital to America’s farmers and ranchers.”
Crop insurance is vitally important to the nation’s farmers, particularly after the Farm Bill placed a greater emphasis on risk management, the associations said. They added that the bill has already made significant contributions to deficit reduction, and that crop insurance is expected to come in $6 billion under budget between 2014 and 2023. Federal crop insurance has also reduced demand for ad hoc disaster assistance — an entirely taxpayer-funded initiative.