Planning Begins for 2017 Crop Insurance Season, Report Shows Past Importance

Crop insurance saved nearly 21,000 jobs in four states during one of the worst droughts in two decades, according to a report from Farm Credit Services of America.
The 20-page paper breaks down the history of the crop insurance program from the start in 1930s, with the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, to expansions in the 1980s and 1990s after a string of unbudgeted disaster relief bills strained federal coffers.
The paper says farmers have plenty of “skin in the game” when it comes to crop insurance, and their participation helps minimize risk exposure for taxpayers.
But the story of the drought of 2012 is where the paper really shines in showing just how important crop insurance is to keeping America’s food, clothing and fuel supplies secure.
Farmers faced low yields and ended up facing big expenses to buy crops at higher prices to fulfill forward marketing obligations and to feed on-farm livestock.
Crop insurance helped cover the shortfall and saved 20,900 jobs across Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming, with an annual labor income of $721.2 million, according to the report.
That’s money that allowed farmers to continue to pay the bills and get ready for the next season even after a disaster like the drought of 2012.
And best of all, farmers didn’t have to go to Congress for an ad-hoc relief bill – just like Congress designed.
You can see the report for yourself at —
Meanwhile, Wednesday is the first day of February —- and the first day of calculations for guaranteed crop insurance prices on this year’s crop.
Tyler Leighton is with Farm Credit Services of America, in the Mitchell,  South Dakota office.
He says the main date area growers need to keep in mind is March 15th, the sales closing deadline.
Listen to a report about the season ahead —  FCS America Tyler Leighton