Maintaining America’s food supply and capacity is the ultimate goal of the Farm Bill. Meeting the growing demands for food in the United States and around the world is absolutely critical as the global population continues to grow by 200,000 people per day. To meet these needs, we need to ensure that our farming operations remain capable and sustainable which is why the Farm Bill includes Federal Crop Insurance, a well managed program that is a vital part of protecting our food producers from disasters.
Why is it vital? Farmers carry a large amount of financial risk from year to year. Even the best operations could be one natural disaster away from bankruptcy. Unfortunately, no one has control over Mother Nature and she can be the difference between a record crop and no crop at all. That is why Federal Crop Insurance was put into place, to ensure that the people growing our food can weather the storms and remain ready to continue feeding the growing world.
Take for instance this year, heavy rains, drought and hot temperatures are affecting different parts of the country. But it’s not just this year, disasters happen every year and if those producers weren’t protected financially, many of them would simply have to try and make a living doing something other than farming, hurting rural America, our countries agricultural infrastructure and long-term ability to continue producing abundant crops.
The program does come at a cost as farmers pay for Federal Crop Insurance. Federal Crop Insurance resembles that of auto insurance. The more car wrecks you get into, the riskier you become to insure costing you more to maintain that coverage. Well with crop insurance, the more disaster claims you have, the bigger risk you become lessening your operations coverage benefits in the event of disaster.
With deficit talks looming in Washington D.C. and the 2012 Farm Bill approaching, agriculture is certainly going to take its share of the spending cuts, but our countries food protection program, Federal Crop Insurance needs to be maintained.