When Congress enters its lame duck session next week – ag policy experts agree federally subsidized crop insurance will be a target when Congress looks for ways to cut the budget deficit. On that same note – experts don’t think lawmakers will be able to compromise to enact a five-year farm bill – even though House Ag Ranking Member Collin Peterson said he is optimistic that if given the chance – they have the votes to pass a five-year farm bill. With this year’s drought – the cost of crop insurance should double. University of Missouri Food and Agricultural Policy Research’s Pat Westhoff says the odds are against a five-year farm bill during the lame duck session unless it’s part of a budget agreement. Crop insurance costs around 7-billion dollars a year and is the biggest part of the farm safety net. What could direct more attention to crop insurance is the full cost of drought indemnities – which will be released during the lame duck session. While senators voted to reduce the insurance subside for the wealthiest farmers – the House of Representatives haven’t decided. Many farm groups don’t understand why Congress could start attacking the one tool they have guided people toward for 25 years.
Source: NAFB News Service