Commodity Groups Talk Crop Insurance Before House Ag

April 24, 2009 Bookmark and Share

Montana wheat producer Bing Von Bergen testified Wednesday on behalf of NAWG at a House Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management hearing on the federal crop insurance program.

Von Bergen is both president of the Montana Grain Growers Association and the immediate past chairman of the NAWG Domestic and Trade Policy Committee.

He told the Subcommittee that crop insurance is vital to the operations of agricultural producers, and provides stability not just for individual operations and the families that run them, but also to rural communities and the food system.

Bergen emphasized NAWG’s crop insurance priorities, including the erosion of actual production history (APH), quality loss adjustment factors and Risk Management Agency audit procedures. He also spoke out against any further cuts to funding for the program, which was already cut in the 2008 Farm Bill and was the only agriculture item specifically targeted for cuts in either the House- or Senate-finalized budget resolutions.

Von Bergen said, in part:

“Crop insurance is a critical risk management tool for wheat producers. According to the Risk Management Agency (RMA), in 2008 nearly 49 million acres – or 77 percent of the country’s total wheat acres – were covered by one of the various available forms of federal crop insurance…In the diverse basket of federal farm safety net programs, crop insurance is one of the most reliable and imperative for wheat producers.”

Representatives from the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union and organizations representing producers of cotton, sorghum, rice, sugar and corn also testified at the hearing.

Von Bergen’s testimony can be read in full at www.wheatworld.org/issues/riskmanagement.