The National Corn Growers Association was pleased to see the progress made on the farm bill Thursday and the priority placed on the vital legislation’s passage. But NCGA President Pam Johnson says the group was disappointed with the passage of the Durbin-Coburn amendment to reduce premium support for crop insurance participants through an Adjusted Gross Income means test. As the Senate moves forward – Johnson says NCGA is opposed to proposed amendments that would cut crop insurance programs and damage the farm safety net that supports the nation’s family farmers when facing adversity.
Indiana Senator Dan Coats voted in favor of cutting funding for crop insurance while Senator Joe Donnelly voted against the measure. The amendment pass by a vote of 59 to 33. Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow urged Senators to vote against the Durbin-Coburn amendment. She said it would raise premium costs by 40-percent for the affected farmers and would reduce the amount of acreage that must comply with federal conservation standards. According to an analysis of the amendment from former USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins – released by the American Crop Insurers Association Thursday – the affected farmers would be looking at a 37-percent increase in the cost of their premiums if they are buying 70-percent coverage because the amendment would reduce the government’s premium support by 15 points. A farmer purchasing 50-percent coverage – according to the analysis – will see a 45-percent increase.