NAWG: State of the Ag Economy and Weather Conditions Show Need for Safety Net
Washington, D.C. (October 04, 2017) – The R Street Institute, Taxpayers for Common Sense, The Heritage Foundation, and other like-minded groups held a Farm Bill policy reform Summit in Washington today. These groups have proposed policy changes to the Farm Bill that are bad for farmers, the economy, and are misleading.
In response to the Summit, David Schemm, President of National Association of Wheat Growers and Sharon Springs, Kansas farmer, made the following statement:
“The most misleading argument made by these groups is that crop insurance is a federal subsidy or handout. Quite the opposite. A farmer might go many years paying premiums for a policy and rarely get an indemnity.
“Earlier this year, within a short span, my crop was impacted by a late season blizzard, disease, and a hail storm. Crop insurance didn’t allow me to make a profit, but rather recover some of my loss and enabled me to farm another year. I can personally say that a farmer would much rather get a return on their crop from the market rather than becoming eligible for an indemnity on insurance because of disaster.
“Furthermore, the risk in the business of agriculture is much different from risk in other industries. These groups fail to consider risks unique to agriculture including lower rates of return and weather-related risks.
“Farmers also aren’t competing on a level playing field on the international market. Countries like China use trade-distorting support programs that violate their WTO commitments and depress world prices. These are just a few reasons for why the Federal Crop Insurance Program continues to be the most important risk management tool available to farmers.
“Rural America and farming families are experiencing some of the worst economic hardships in decades. Now isn’t the time to implement policies that harm these families and stump economic growth.
“NAWG encourages Congress to ignore the rhetoric made by these groups during the reauthorization of the 2018 Farm Bill and to continue work with farmers during the process. Farmers across the country need a strong safety net to enable them to farm another year and to continue growing a safe, abundant, and affordable food supply.”
NAWG is the primary representative in Washington D.C. for wheat growers, working to ensure a better future for America’s growers, the industry and the general public. NAWG works with a team of 20 state wheat grower organizations to benefit the wheat industry at state and national levels. From their offices in the Wheat Growers Building on Capitol Hill, NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members and the public.