Wheat Growers: Cuts to Crop Insurance Unacceptable
Last night, the Administration and Congressional leadership announced a bipartisan budget deal that would both raise discretionary spending caps for FY 2016 and FY 2017 and it would increase the debt limit until March 15, 2017. This budget agreement could have significant negative impacts on agriculture.
“NAWG is very opposed to these provisions that would be devastating to the crop insurance companies and ultimately for growers as well. In this difficult economic climate, at a time when commodity prices are low, agriculture has already taken a hit. We took unprecedented cuts in negotiating the farm bill. Just one year into the new farm bill and Congress let sequester cuts happen. Now they want to cut more. We cannot stand by and allow more cuts to be made,” said NAWG President, Brett Blankenship, wheat grower from Washtucna, Wash.
The text of the agreement includes a provision, Title II, that would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to renegotiate the Standard Reinsurance Agreement, the agreement between the Risk Management Agency and the crop insurance companies to administer the federal crop insurance program, by December 31, 2016, and that the agreement establish a target rate of return for the approved insurance providers of 8.9 percent of retained premium for each of the 2017 through 2026 reinsurance years, resulting in $3 billion in cuts.