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AgMag BLOG

Feeding your mind, saving the planet >>

Is Crop Insurance a Safety Net or Trampoline?

Monday, December 3, 2012

A recent blog by DTN/The Progressive Farmer’s Marcia Zarley Taylor aptly titled Extreme Insurance should give taxpayers and policymakers pause.

EWG’s senior vice president of agriculture and natural resources Craig Cox explains why in today’s Ag Mag post.

The first reason is the cost of that federally subsidized Revenue Protection policy. Taxpayers are paying as much as $39 an acre to insure corn in Bartholomew County, according to the Illinois Farm Doc crop insurance tool. And taxpayers will ultimately shell out two to three times more per acre as corn prices soar in response to the drought.

The second thing that should give us pause is the Climate Corporation’s “novel TWI [Total Weather Insurance] policy,” which Taylor reports is “gaining attention – both from farmers and from policymakers who think it may be a model for a less expensive method to deliver crop insurance coverage.” Baute reported that the totally private-sector TWI insurance he bought will help boost his income this year by “filling in the deductibles in conventional [read, federally subsidized] insurance.” In other words, the TWI insurance will cover the so-called “shallow losses” that federally subsidized crop insurance doesn’t.

But these are the very same shallow losses that the farm bill proposals pending in Congress would cover with spanking new federal entitlements. Taxpayers will get the tab for most if not all of the cost of these new, unprecedented business income guarantees.

Read more at Ag Mag.

Table Scraps:

A Cedar Rapids Gazette op-ed has more on Iowa’s adopted industrial chemical model of agriculture and what must be done to clean up the state’s polluted rivers and streams.

The executive director of the Iowa Environmental Council pens an op-ed on why conservation compliance should be tied to crop insurance.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told the Sunday talk shows that farm subsidies should be cut to help reduce the deficit.

The Albany Tribune reports food allergies may be linked to pesticides in tap water.

Politico has more on the high-octane fight brewing over the sale of E15.

In a new brief, R Street lays out five “dos” and five “don’ts” for the lame-duck Congress.

Tweet of the Day:

@rereboom Urge Congress Dump the Biotech Riders! #farmbill http://bit.ly/11s7Zqd

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