Leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee recently urged the Department of Agriculture to expand margin protection tools under the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. Citing record high input costs and extreme volatility in commodity prices, Senators Debbie Stabenow and John Boozman say the expansion would “allow producers the opportunity to familiarize themselves with these tools and better manage production cost risk by next fall.” Farmers are heading into the second consecutive planting season with elevated fertilizer and diesel prices while crop prices are getting more volatile. The letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urges margin protection, already in place for dairy, cattle and swine, and certain crops, should be thoughtfully expanded in a timely manner. As the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation considers expanding existing tools or developing new ones, the lawmakers say, “We urge the department to immediately prioritize additional and extensive risk management education for both producers and agents” on the policies currently available.
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