Farmers voice concerns about proposed cuts on crop insurance - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Farmers voice concerns about proposed cuts on crop insurance

Source: KXXV Source: KXXV

President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposal includes cuts to the crop insurance for farmers.

According to the 2018 USDA proposed budget summary, reducing premium subsidies would cut $28.6 billion of the budget over 10 years. It would reduce spending because it would only give crop insurance premium to producers with an adjusted gross of $500.00.

It would limit insurance premium subsidies to $40,000 per person or company. In addition, it would eliminate price revenue subsidies, which allows a producer to insure crop at the higher of the projected price at planting or at harvest time.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue issued the following statement when the budget was released:

“President Trump promised he would realign government spending, attempt to eliminate duplication or redundancy, and see that all government agencies are efficiently delivering services to the taxpayers of America.  And that’s exactly what we are going to do at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)," Purdue said.

Kevin Huffman who has corn, wheat and cotton crops in 5,000 acres near McGregor pays a crop insurance premium partly subsidized by the government.

He recalls using crop insurance six years ago when he lost most of his crop during the drought.

“That helps having a safety net to compensate to those crops that are not to production,” Huffman said.

If the cuts are approved, Huffman said he would eligible for the subsidies under the proposed income eligibility. However, he said if the subsidies are capped at $40,000 that would significantly increase his crop insurance premium.

The farmer said if the cuts are approved, he would reduce his insurance coverage or farm less.

"It would probably just mean all the acres would cut back so we would have less product out there to purchase so we would have to grow less corn or diversify into something else,” Huffman said.

The Texas Farm Bureau Gene Hall said the organization opposes to the cuts. He said if the cuts are approved, this might force the U.S. to get food from other countries.

"The risk of farming is just too great especially in Texas with thunderstorm and hail overnight. Without some sort of protection for that risk, no one is going to farm anymore so having crop insurance is an investment by the public and a safe affordable supply in this country,” Hall said.

Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening sent a letter to the Congressional Delegation to show the organization’s position on the issue.

The proposed budget would have to be approved by Congress before it goes into effect.

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