UNL specialist: Crop insurance not yet safe

Published online: Aug 18, 2017 News

The chairs of the House and Senate Ag Committees insist the crop insurance program will be protected in the next farm bill.

But Nebraska Extension public policy specialist Brad Lubben says crop insurance still presents a big target for those looking to cut farm bill spending.

“It’s the biggest budget item, outside of nutrition and food assistance—and as the biggest budget item in the farm portfolio, it’s probably the biggest budget target as well,” Lubben says. “Which means some potential cuts that producers and others might have to adjust to.”

Lubben says one aspect of crop insurance the cost-cutters are looking at is the premium subsidy rate.

“The federal share of the premium is about 60 cents of every dollar. The producer pays about 40,” he says. “How far might we back that up to save money without truly affecting producer decisions about participation—and, thus, the protection that the safety net provides.”

Other cost-cutting proposals include eliminating the harvest price component and establishing an adjusted gross income cap for eligibility for support.

Source: brownfieldagnews.com