Crop Insurance Rates Unfair to Midwest Producers Argue Illinois Reps

Crop insurance rates are too high for Midwest producers and force them to effectively support lower rates in the South, where losses may be greater. That comes from two Illinois U.S. lawmakers.

Illinois Representative Eric Sorensen, at the House farm bill markup, said it’s time to update crop insurance rates. He says, “My amendment directs the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to study loss ratios and then make the necessary adjustments to premiums so Midwestern farmers are no longer overpaying.”

Especially for crops with productive seasons according to Sorensen. He says, “So, farmers in my state of Illinois, corn farmers and especially soybean farmers, they’ve been paying so much more for crop insurance to subsidize the rest of the commodities, like cotton, peanuts, and rice. Farmers in the Midwest should not be paying to grow Southern crops. In fact, in the Land of Lincoln, that adds up to 142 million dollars taken from our farm families every year.”

Yet, Sorensen says the Risk Management Agency hasn’t fixed the problem, which is more acute with lower crop prices and soaring input costs. South Central Illinois’ Rep. Nikki Budzinski says, “Illinois farmers feel that they are disproportionately contributing to the crop insurance program, particularly when compared to areas experiencing high loss ratios. Some states have reported soybean loss ratios as high as 1-point-80 and corn loss ratios at 1-point-17 and beyond.”

Budzinski says RMA has looked at the numbers and adjusted crop insurance subsidies, but regional disparities persist. Sorensen withdrew his amendment for fuller treatment outside the farm bill.

Story by Matt Kaye/Berns Bureau and NAFB News Service

Latest news