Senator Marshall Joins Senator Hoeven in Introducing FARMER Act To Strengthen Crop Insurance, Make Higher Levels Of Coverage More Affordable

Washington, D.C. – Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. joined Senator John Hoeven, a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, in introducing the Federal Agriculture Risk Management Enhancement and Resilience (FARMER) Act this week. This legislation would strengthen crop insurance and make higher levels of coverage more affordable for producers. Additional cosponsors of the bill include Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.).

“The FARMER Act is a big step in ensuring that the farm safety net stays intact and up to date. I hear time and again from my farmers in Kansas that crop insurance is the top priority in this Farm Bill because it provides a rapid response when disaster strikes,” said Senator Marshall.  “Investment in crop insurance is in turn an investment in economic security for rural Americans and food security for all Americans.”

“Crop insurance is an essential piece of the farm safety net, providing farmers with their most important risk management tool as they work to continue providing Americans with the highest quality, lowest cost food supply in the world. I have heard from producers across North Dakota about the need to make this important program more affordable. As such, we’re working to not only defend crop insurance, but improve it. That’s how we’re going to keep the farm in the farm bill,” said Senator Hoeven. “My legislation will make higher levels of coverage more affordable across the country, especially in states where it’s currently prohibitively expensive to buy up. Ultimately, producers buying higher levels of coverage will lessen the need for ad-hoc disaster assistance in the future. That means a more resilient ag economy and a better deal for taxpayers.”

Specifically, the legislation would:

  1. Increase premium support for higher levels of crop insurance coverage, which will enhance affordability and reduce the need for ad-hoc disaster assistance.
  2. Improve the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) by increasing premium support and expanding the coverage level, providing producers with an additional level of protection.
  3. Direct the Risk Management Agency (RMA) to conduct a study to improve the effectiveness of SCO in large counties.
  4. Not require producers to choose between purchasing enhanced crop insurance coverage or participating in Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, giving them flexibility to make decisions that work best for their operations.

This legislation is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, American Sugarbeet Growers Association, Crop Insurance Professionals Association, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau, Midwest Council on Agriculture, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Barley Growers Association, National Cotton Council, National Corn Growers Association, National Sunflower Association, Southwest Council of Agribusiness, U.S. Beet Sugar Association, U.S. Canola Association, U.S. Durum Growers Association, Western Peanut Growers Association, and Minnesota Corn Growers Association, among others. A summary and the full bill text of the legislation can be found here and here, respectively. Statements of support can be found here.