Though growers are pleased that the program continues to exist, they are wary of cuts to direct subsidies.
Farmers in Kansas are thrilled that their crop insurance program has been maintained as a part of a scaled down farm bill that has been passed by the U.S. House, but they are still leery as it doesn’t look as though the opportunity that it will provide will be quite as lucrative as what it used to be.
They are still watching to see which elements of it will make it into a law beyond the coverage.
Though there are a number of competing versions of the bill, they are relieved to find out that the central element, the crop insurance subsidies, which are typically the most appreciated by farmers, will be sticking around.
The crop insurance is a relief, but there is still a great deal of uneasiness about the rest of the bill.
The president of the Kansas Farm Bureau, Steve Baccus, is also a corn, wheat, and other crop grower. He expressed that he was pleased about the continuation of the subsidies for crop insurance, but that he was not yet comfortable about the division of the farm programs from the food stamp spending – an area that has held massive controversy and continues to do so. However, he did state that he was happy with the amount that remained for the farmers, considering how many budget cuts are currently underway.
Baccus explained that “By and large, this is a good bill for Kansas agriculture.” He went on to say that “This is very similar to the first one they voted on and defeated. It is very similar to the farm bill that the Senate passed.”
At the moment, the bill maintains conservation programs and keeps assistance programs and export market development programs that help in the marketing of American agricultural products in the international marketplace. However, according to Baccus, it is the crop insurance program that is most important, particularly in the Midwest.
However, the direct payments have been removed from both the Senate and the House versions of the bill, and the subsidies that would be paid regardless of market price or yield for crop insurance have also been removed.