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Senior Contributor

Congress should limit crop insurance, environmental group says

It is no big secret that the goverment pays around $48/acre for our Crop Insurance Subsidy in Iowa. Just for Iowa's 26 Million acres of row-crops that amounts to over $1.2 BILLION Dollars, and yes that is Billion. Myself, they pay over $80,000/year just for my small farm operation, and yes, $80,000/year is more than many Iowa families make per year in net family income. I am not going to say this is wrong or right and I admit that the $80,000 I recieve lowers my cost of production to produce 1 bushel of corn by 21 cents. Below is an article on this issue in one of the main Iowa papers:

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Congress should limit crop insurance, environmental group says

 

Congress should use the final hours of debate on the next farm bill to limit spending on crop insurance and shovel more money to conservation programs, advocacy groups said.

The Lyons, Neb.-based Center for Rural Affairs, in a meeting with Des Moines Register reporters and editors Friday, said efforts to limit single farms’ aid from federal crop programs should be extended to crop insurance to free money for conservation and nutrition programs facing stiff cuts.

“It is absolutely irresponsible for us, as a society, to say we won’t touch crop insurance ... and we won’t put a cap on that, but at the same time we are going to cut the small investment that we make helping pregnant women, kids get adequate nutrition,” said center spokesman John Crabtree.

“We are going to cut the funding that helps our rural communities actually revitalize. We are going to cut the money that helps with conservation. We are going to cut the money that helps develop our next generation of farmers,” Crabtree added.

The U.S. Senate is expected to approve a farm bill as early as next week, with the House following in June. Conference committee debate would follow.

The national nonprofit Environmental Working Group claimed that the House Agricultural Committee’s version, passed Wednesday, is an all-out affront to the environment and conservation efforts.

“The budget-busting farm bill approved Wednesday night by the House Agriculture Committee and its leaders — Reps. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) — is nothing but bad news for the environment,” spokewoman Sara Sciammacco wrote in a statement.

The environmental group criticized the proposed farm bill for cutting conservation spending and nutrition programs.

“The Senate wrongly trimmed nutrition and conservation programs while boosting crop insurance subsidies,” Sciammacco wrote. “The House version, voted out of committee late last night, supercharged these cuts by chopping a draconian $20 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps.”

Several environmental groups have contended that Congress, intent on reducing expenses, actually will end up spending more on the new crop insurance program than it did on direct payments to farmers.

 

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Advisor

Re: Congress should limit crop insurance, environmental group says

Yeah!  These freeloaders love having me feed their frigging deer, as they collect CRP payments and other conservation payments while maintaining their "city" job.  I think they need to reallocate conservation funding (bring it to zero) for anyone who s not 100% engaged in farming.  In fact most of those who work for the DNR in Iowa own tree hugger property they receive a government subsidy for.  If we would eliminate the DNR and CRP and all the other conservation programs, we could add another 44 million to the food stamp rolls, including a few government employees.   JOhn

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Senior Advisor

Re: Congress should limit crop insurance, environmental group says

Not to defend the EWG, yet that headline appears misleading to me.  The headline leaves out the word "spending".  RSW, based on what you have posted, it appears EWG believes that "spending" should be limited by capping or limiting the amount spent on crop insurance subsidies.  It does not specifically indicate that crop insurance itself should be limited, only the amount the government spends on subsidies.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Congress should limit crop insurance, environmental group says

It would be pointless to set up a "100%" farm involvement test. First of all, that would limit farming families to only farm income. Not necessarily a smart move. Second, since corporations are now people, all one would need to do to circumvent such a restriction would be to create an entity to farm.

What I think needs to be done is moving marginal land, as established by an insurance claim filed on an" x years out of every y years" basis, permanently off the crop insurance program. That could help to curtail the " farming the insurance program" that is allegedly done fairly systematically with some crops in certain areas.

Other than that, taking away the subsidy for premiums is something that you can expect increasing pressure on.
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