Recent and ongoing meetings across the country to educate farmers and ranchers on what is a new and significantly different farm program points out one major difference from all previous farm bills. Ad hoc disaster payments are gone, direct payments are gone and crop insurance will be the crux of farm and ranch safety nets.

Cotton’s STAX program and the Supplemental Coverage Option, available for cotton but not in conjunction with STAX, as well as for other crops, offer farmers an opportunity to bridge gaps left by previous insurance offerings.

 

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The new program will build on what has been a growing dependence on crop insurance for risk management, say representatives of the National Crop Insurance Services.

Passage of the 2014 Farm Bill “marked a pivotal moment for risk management in U.S. agriculture, NCIS reports. “Gone are the days of direct payments and most of the commodity programs for farmers. Today, when farmers seek to manage risk, they do so by purchasing crop insurance.”

 

 

Instead of ad hoc disaster payments, crop insurance “manages disasters before, not after the fact. Already, farmers have been meeting with their crop insurance agents and have spent more than $670 million out of their own pockets purchasing nearly 225,000 crop insurance policies. These polices protect nearly all major commodities and a long list of specialty crops including apricots, bananas, blueberries, cherries, coffee, olives and tangerines.

 And farmers make investments in the program, “spending more than $38 billion out of their own pockets to purchase crop insurance policies since 2000. Last year, farmers spent nearly $4.5 billion to purchase more than 1.2 million crop insurance policies, protecting 128 different crops.”

Instead of ad hoc disaster payments, crop insurance “manages disasters before, not after the fact. Already, farmers have been meeting with their crop insurance agents and have spent more than $670 million out of their own pockets purchasing nearly 225,000 crop insurance policies. These polices protect nearly all major commodities and a long list of specialty crops including apricots, bananas, blueberries, cherries, coffee, olives and tangerines.

 And farmers make investments in the program, “spending more than $38 billion out of their own pockets to purchase crop insurance policies since 2000. Last year, farmers spent nearly $4.5 billion to purchase more than 1.2 million crop insurance policies, protecting 128 different crops.”