Kansas Senator Pat Roberts has introduced legislation to strengthen the federal crop insurance program by eliminating direct payments to farmers. According to Roberts - his legislation would strengthen the farm safety net while saving taxpayers 5.2-billion dollars over 10 years and preventing costly ad hog ag disaster programs. Roberts notes producers often say that crop insurance is the single most important program that helps them when disasters strike.
The measure introduced by Roberts would reauthorize the federal crop insurance program and expand coverage options for producers through a Supplemental Coverage Option based on an area yield and loss basis. It would also amend the Federal Crop Insurance Act to make available separate enterprise units for irrigated and non-irrigated acreages of crops in counties. By increasing the county transitional yield - the bill also addresses the declining Actual Production History yield problem. Roberts’ legislation also continues the Stacked Income Protection Plan - known as STAX - for upland cotton producers. Similar legislative language was included in the farm bill approved by the Senate last year.
After three years of serious drought - Roberts says farmers are able to put seeds in the ground again not because of an agriculture ad hoc disaster package - but because they managed their risk and protected their operations through the purchase of crop insurance.