Crop insurance sees reforms at the hands of the Senate
Crop insurance has been a matter of debate for U.S. lawmakers for more than a year. The attention drew more attention in the wake of the 2012 drought that threatened crops through much of the Midwest. The damage caused by this disaster successfully highlighted many of the problems that exist in the country’s current crop insurance program, spurring federal lawmakers to address these issues for the sake of economic stability and progress.
Senate approves change to farm bill
Late last week, the Senate voted to limit the amount of subsidies offered by the federal government to the country’s wealthiest farmers. The crop insurance program has received harsh criticism in the past for offering these subsidies to wealthy agriculture groups, effectively covering the costs associated with insurance coverage and payouts for groups that could pay for this coverage themselves. The federal crop insurance program is meant to cover the costs of coverage for crops that are considered vital to the country’s economy and subsistence, ensuring that farmers still receive income even if their crops are destroyed by natural disasters. Critics suggest that the program has become nothing more than a platform to allow farmers to grow nothing and continue to receive income.
Farmers to bear financial burden of crop insurance
The Senate is currently debating a five-year legislation concerning the country’s farms. The legislation seeks to allocate more than $100 billion a year to crop insurance. An amendment to this legislation was recently introduced, aiming to limit the subsidies that farmers earning more than $750,000 a year can receive from the federal government. This amendment was approved by the Senate late last week and is expected to affect more than 20,000 farmers throughout the country.
Corn and soybean farmers expected to be affected most by crop insurance changes
Farmers affected by the changes made to the country’s crop insurance program are likely to be liable for a larger portion of the costs associated with their insurance coverage. The change is expected to affect corn and soybean farmers the most, who also happen to be those most affected by natural disasters in some parts of the country.