This year, America’s farmers are relying on their coverage, possibly more than ever before.
The historic drought of 2012 is drawing significant attention to the federal crop insurance program that is designed to assist American farmers throughout times such as this, when natural events cause significant damage to the ability of growers to produce.
As the losses on farms continue to rise, it is expected that the program will fork over $18 billion in assistance.
Of that money, up to $10 billion of it will have come from taxpayers. This amount will be paid out on top of the $9 billion that the federal government has already spent this year to help growers who needed assistance to pay the crop insurance premiums in the first place.
These costs and losses have placed the crop insurance program under notable scrutiny in 2012.
Both sides of the political spectrum have been raising their brows at the costs that appear to be never ending this year as a result of the massive losses farmers are experiencing. Environmentalists and budget nitpickers alike are aiming to place stricter limits on the program, in order to remove some of the inclination that farmers have to take risks with their land and finances, as they know that they will have the safety net from their coverage.
However, as much as the program has been getting flack for the last while, it appears that the intention of Congress is to broaden it, instead of reining it in. They have stated that for many farmers, the national crop insurance program is a vital lifeline, and this year’s potentially record breaking drought is a prime example of the type of rescue that it can provide to the many growers across the country who can do nothing at the moment but watch their plants wither as they wait for the rain.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has taken note of the hottest July that has been recorded for 118 years, and has now officially decreased its anticipated soybean and corn harvest yields. This is the second time that its predictions have dropped within the last two months and it now brings the forecasts for corn to the lowest point that has been seen in 17 years. This is a clear indication that crop insurance will play an important role in the survival of many farms across the country this year.