For over three decades, the Center for Rural Affairs has worked alongside farm and rural organizations, U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives to reform federal farm subsidies. The impetus for those reform efforts has been the negative impacts unlimited farm subsidies have on beginning farmers, and on small and mid-sized family farms. We argue that when subsidies are unlimited in nature — with no cap on the amount of subsidies that the largest farms can receive — they provide the nation’s largest and wealthiest farms with additional financial resources to bid up land costs and drive their smaller neighbors out of farming.
“We are unapologetically rural,” said Brian Depew – Executive Director who is leading the center on a host of rural issues. One of their ongoing battles impacts nearly every, single farmer across the nation – Federal Crop Insurance Reform.
We believe a crop insurance program backed by the federal government is an important and necessary component of an effective farm safety net. However, we also believe the current program has problems that need to be fixed to ensure it is actually fostering family-farm agriculture and stewardship of land, water, and communities.
On March 23, the Center for Rural Affairs along with Mike Duffy, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Iowa State University, released a report that explores the impact subsidized crop insurance places on land values.
Crop insurance is an important and necessary component of an effective farm safety net. However, it is a very complex program that will work more effectively with much-needed, commonsense reforms.
Under current law, we are subsidizing crop insurance at an average rate of 62% on every acre without limit regardless of farm size or wealth. We have an issue with that. Our tax dollars - the public trust - subsidize the largest operators no matter how big they get.