National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson has sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the renegotiation of the Standard Reinsurance Agreement for the federal crop insurance program, as mandated by the 2008 farm bill.
Johnson said NFU supports an SRA that “will not negatively impact the delivery of crop insurance or decrease the current baseline, but instead strengthens risk management protection while ensuring farmers of all crops, in all rural areas, have access to essential crop insurance products.
“It is a very troubling possibility that responsible financial adjustments in the federal crop insurance program may result in unintended consequences,” said Johnson. “The next farm bill will be even more difficult to write if the starting point from which to reduce spending on crop insurance is even lower.”
Farm bill and related agricultural programs comprise less than one-quarter of one percent of total federal expenditures, making it a wise investment in securing the world’s leading affordable, safe and nutritious food supply, and any reductions in the level of farm program funding could significantly damage the American food system.
“The SRA should provide reasonable incentives to enable diverse and competitive crop insurance agencies to service farmers and rural areas,” said Johnson. “At the same time, USDA must maintain the current baseline.”