Congressman Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) re-introduced the Crop Risk Options Plan (CROP) Act today, which will strengthen farmers' ability to manage risk. The CROP Act was introduced in the last session of Congress, and earned inclusion in both the House and Senate Agriculture Committee bills.
"Crop insurance is the preferred risk management tool for most farmers and ranchers," Neugebauer explained. "In a business where earnings are determined by weather conditions and other factors out of their control, producers need the ability to protect themselves from losses."
The CROP Act gives producers the option to insure against shallow losses so they don't have to suffer a 30 percent loss before coverage kicks in. By using a county-level trigger for losses, rather than losses at each individual farm, the CROP Act provides a less expensive way for producers to purchase this coverage.
The bill also gives the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) more flexibility in analyzing crop yields and losses. Currently, USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) must use data collected by the National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) when determining yields for county based policies. The CROP Act allows RMA to use data it is already collecting to make these determinations, thereby improving efficiency.
"The CROP Act builds a stronger safety net through shared-risk," Neugebauer said. "Producers won't have to worry that a few bad seasons of shallow losses will put them out of business. I'm looking forward to discussing this more when the House Agriculture Committee begins marking up a farm bill this spring."