Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Sunday 10/13/13

On Crop Insurance, House and Senate on Same Page

Higher-income farmers and the crop-insurance industry are likely going to cope with reduced federal cost share on crop insurance premiums.

Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees passed farm bills out of committee without any income limits on crop-insurance premium subsidies. Through a bill amendment and a Sense of the House resolution, both chambers recognized that cutting back the premium subsidy is one small area of bi-partisan agreement among House and Senate leaders.

The Senate farm bill lowers the premium subsidy for farmers making more than $750,000 in adjusted gross income, or $1.5 million for married couples. Those higher-income farmers would see their premium subsidy lowered 15 percentage points, from a maximum of 62% to 47%. The provision would affect about 20,000 farmers and save $1 billion over 10 years.

The Democratic-led Senate voted 59-33 in May with 40 Democrats and 19 Republicans backing the amendment.

In the House, attempts to add the language to the farm bill had largely fallen on deaf ears, until late last week. On Friday evening, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., saw his resolution tightening income eligibility pass the House on a voice vote. The language was comparable to the Senate provisions. While a voice vote doesn't get everyone on record, the resolution does show GOP House leaders support the provision.

Conferees will have to begrudgingly keep the income cap or find some way to pivot around the issue.

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Posted at 4:48PM CDT 10/13/13 by Chris Clayton
Comments (5)
Unlimited crop insurance subsidies now cost the taxpayer $9 billion a year and overwhelmingly flow to the largest and most successful farm businesses. Congress is still dead serious about decimating rural America by destroying totally any opportunity for most smaller farmers to compete.
Posted by Sally Benson at 6:07PM CDT 10/13/13
And how is the fed's zirp policy helping this country by encouraging continued deficit spending? See http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-13/u-s-risks-joining-1933-germany-in-pantheon-of-deadbeat-defaults.html
Posted by George Hanson at 6:37AM CDT 10/14/13
A little unbiased research would show conservatives support disciplined spending in all areas where government is involved. Too bad the liberal media only reports what will sell papers by creating hate and discontent. Are they afraid of truth? Yes, crop ins. is a small part of the big picture. I read S.S. benefits will increase by 1.5% on Jan. 1, 2014. If the Fed. Government would act with-in the same scope, the budget would balance in a few short years. But then, what would the wanna-bees have to promote their political career?
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 10:19AM CDT 10/14/13
Congress must want to ruin rural America!?!? That could be the only reason they agree to continue to pour millions in subsidies guaranteeing farmers and crop insurance agents huge profits. Why wouldn't every BTO try to farm the whole country when he has no skin in the game? And the agents that work 4 weeks of the year continue to pocket millions in commission for very little work other than just receiving copies of documents that the FSA gals complete anyway. This is a bigger waste than SNAP!
Posted by Bill Billson at 1:45PM CDT 10/14/13
You insult thousand of hard working folks with ignorant comments like that Bill. Shame on you.
Posted by Jarrod Bennett at 7:28AM CDT 10/21/13
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