NFBF petitions federal agency to implement insurance provision
The Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation (NFBF) is petitioning the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement a new crop insurance provision that was introduced in the 2014 Farm Bill. The provision may help farmers in Nebraska recover from the loss of their crops due to powerful natural disasters that occurred during the spring of this year. Nebraska was struck by several hailstorms and tornadoes that caused significant agricultural damage, leaving many farmers in a precarious financial situation.
2014 is proving difficult for the agriculture sector
The NFBF suggests that 2014 has been a very hard year on farmers in Nebraska and throughout the U.S. As such, prompt action is needed from the federal government to ensure that farmers can recover from the disasters that they have fallen victim to. Unfortunately, the federal government has been somewhat slow in responding to the needs of the agriculture sector, especially when it comes to crop insurance. As such, many farmers are banding together to call for more immediate action.
Provision will allow farmers to exclude a year from their Actual Production History metric
The provision highlighted by the NFBF allows farmers to exclude any year from their Actual Production History, as long as the yield for that year is less than 50% of the average production in their county. The Actual Production History represents a measurement of a farmer’s performance and serves as the basis for various crop insurance provisions. Being able to exclude an entire year from this metric could reduce some of the financial pressure on farmers that have suffered from catastrophic losses due to natural disasters.
Federal agency has been slow to implement insurance provisions in the past
Whether or not the Department of Agriculture will expedite the implementation of the crop insurance provision is unknown. The federal agency has been slow in doing so in the past, but given the frequency of natural disasters and how damaging these disasters have been, the agency may take action. Crop insurance remains a relatively controversial issue within the U.S. due to its high cost. Those advocating crop insurance reform suggest that current insurance initiatives are designed to encourage farmers to practice risky behavior.