Groups warn of another effort to cut crop insurance

A coalition of farm and agribusiness groups is asking the Trump administration and Congressional budget leaders not to propose cuts to crop insurance this year.

Tara Smith with the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB) says efforts to cut crop insurance funding have become an annual battle—and she expects it to be the same this year.

“Given that cuts to crop insurance have been a part of budgets for so many years, at this point in time we’d be very surprised if they aren’t included in the President’s budget,” Smith says.

Proposals for cuts usually target three segments of crop insurance, she says. “They like to go after the premium discount that farmers receive to purchase their policy. They like to go after the private sector delivery. And then they like to go after some form of means testing on crop insurance programs.”

A letter opposing cuts to crop insurance, and signed by about 60 national farm, lending, ag input, conservation and crop insurance organizations, was sent to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. A similar letter was sent to the House and Senate Budget Committees.

The Trump administration is expected to release it fiscal 2020 budget in March.

AUDIO: Tara Smith

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