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Crop Insurance Reform Would Save Tens of Billions

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

As the House Agriculture Committee considered a proposal by Reps. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) to expand crop insurance subsidies by more than $9 billion, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) introduced legislation to instead roll back crop insurance subsidy rates.

H.R. 6098, the Crop Insurance Subsidy Reduction Act, would reduce crop insurance premium subsidies to rates in place before passage of the Agricultural Risk Protection Act in 2000, which doubled premium subsidies.

In a new report released today by EWG, Bruce Babcock, an economics professor at Iowa State University, argues that reducing premium subsidies to the levels proposed by Rep. Flake would save at least $42 billion over ten years while providing farmers a generous safety net.

The cost of subsidizing crop insurance premiums has exploded from $1.5 billion in 2002 to $7.4 billion in 2011.

Click here to read the full report.

Table Scraps:

Click here to watch C-SPAN’s live broadcast of the House Agriculture Committee markup hearing on the 2012 farm bill.

EWG joined other national environmental groups by signing onto a letter to express strong opposition to the farm bill draft proposed by Reps. Lucas and Peterson.

The Council on Food, Agricultural & Resource Economics has a new report that examines the effectiveness of environmental compliance and the benefits of tying basic conservation requirements to crop insurance.

In an op-ed for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kathleen Logan Smith of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment writes, “now is our chance to remind Congress of the history of our nation's soil and to make sure that our congressmen [sic] pass a farm bill with measures that ensure that taxpayers don't subsidize soil erosion.”

Tweet of the Day: @dwallbank Rep. Scott: Passing #farmbill with $16.5 billion in SNAP cuts would be the "most un-American thing we could do."

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