News Center

#ICYMI: Give Crop Insurance a Chance to Work

March 23, 2015

Keith Mussman, a farmer and president of the Kankakee County Farm Bureau, took to the editorial pages of The Daily Journal a few days ago to express what is on the minds of farmers all across the country: give crop insurance and the 2014 Farm Bill a chance to work. The ink is barely dry

Our View: America’s Farmers Have Answered the Call for Budget Cuts

March 17, 2015

Recently, during a congressional hearing to examine the implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill, one of the witnesses recounted a story about the simple advice he received when he first started farming. An older family member, who is also a farmer, offered this: “farming is a tough life and you’re not going to make a

Farmer Cooperatives: Putting a Spotlight on a True American Success Story

March 9, 2015

By Charles F. Conner Some of America’s best loved brands—Land O’Lakes butter, Blue Diamond almonds, Welch’s grape juice, Riceland, and Sunkist oranges, to name a few—come from cooperatives that are wholly owned by the men and women who actually grow the crops. The old adage that “necessity is the mother of invention” could reasonably describe

U.S. Reforms Farm Policy while Foreign Competitors Ramp Up Trade-Distorting Subsidies

February 27, 2015

The critics of U.S. farm policy should feast their eyes on a new study that puts into perspective what America’s farmers are up against on the global market. While the U.S. made sweeping reforms and cuts to farm policy in the 2014 Farm Bill, its competitors were busy ramping up trade-distorting subsidies for their own

A Taxing Budget for Farmers

February 13, 2015

Much has been made about the President’s FY2016 budget and its proposed cuts to the risk management tools on which farmers depend. In fact, leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have been critical of the budget for its attack on crop insurance, and lawmakers recently received a pointed letter on the subject from

Our View: Common-Sense Lessons for Critics of American Agriculture

February 11, 2015

The critics of farm policy are so desperate to be relevant in a town bent on reform that they continue to gin up so-called news stories where none exist, using outdated numbers to point to issues long ago corrected. Poor L.A. Times for taking the bait recently and printing propaganda, instead of real news. But,

ICYMI: Crop Insurance Takes the Spotlight in Two Diverse Regions of the Country

February 9, 2015

Last week, newspapers in two different and diverse regions of the country featured editorials on the importance of crop insurance, which highlights how it has become the risk management of choice for farmers nationwide. Steve Baccus, a family farmer from Kansas and the former president of the Kansas Farm Bureau, wrote in the Wichita Eagle that

Coalition Opposes President’s Proposed Crop Insurance Cuts, Urges Legislators to Protect Farm Safety Net

February 5, 2015

On the heels of the president’s budget release that proposed harmful cuts to crop insurance, a diverse group of farming organizations, agricultural businesses, banks, and equipment manufacturers sent a letter to Capitol Hill urging legislators to reject the president’s plan and to protect crop insurance in upcoming congressional budget proposals.

Thanks Kansas City Star for Giving a Voice to Farmers

January 27, 2015

The merits of having a strong farm policy, including risk management tools like crop insurance, are many times overlooked, dismissed, and even criticized by the leading papers and media outlets of the day.  Instead, the critics of farm policy are given far more opportunities to rail against our nation’s secure food supply and the people

Our View: American Agriculture Remains a Driving Force Behind America’s Success

January 20, 2015

“The farm – best home of the family, main source of national wealth, foundation of civilized society, the natural providence.” One will find these wise words inscribed on the façade of Union Station in Washington, D.C. The historic site was built around the turn of the century when the nation was experiencing progress of every

Bah Humbug: WSJ Letters Go Unpublished

January 12, 2015

In true Ebenezer Scrooge-like fashion, opponents of farm policy used Christmas Eve as a workday to criticize the men and women who helped put holiday meals on tables from coast to coast.    The attack came in the form of a Dec. 24 Wall Street Journal op-ed penned by Bruce Babcock and Vincent Smith, and

From Loan to Subsidy in the Blink of an Eye

December 17, 2014

Months after receiving preferential government loans, farmers in India soon will be allowed to walk away from their debts without repayment of either principal or interest, according to a Dec. 9 article by Bloomberg.   The outlet explained how some in the India agricultural community are using the free money to expand at a time

Crop Insurance’s Future Depends on Private-Sector Delivery

December 10, 2014

Matthew King, a farmer from central Ohio, recently took to the editorial pages of the Columbus Dispatch to defend America’s current farm policy. And he gave some real-world perspective on the skin-in-the-game farmers have in today’s system.   “In 2013, our farming operation’s crop-insurance premium totaled more than my wife’s annual salary as a local

The Reality of the ‘Bumper’ Crop

December 3, 2014

When it comes to economic conditions on the farm, the theme of Reuters, Bloomberg, and some other news outlets is to speak only of bumper crops and expected higher Farm Bill costs. In the aggregate—though that is not how farmers repay their loans or obtain financing—U.S. farm income will not be up as one might

Recent Guest Columns Stress Importance of Crop Insurance as Risk Management Tool

November 17, 2014

Farm Policy Facts has long stressed the importance of crop insurance to our farm safety net. We are pleased to see these same views being echoed in mainstream media, especially in light of the number of column inches given to our critics.   The following column, by farmer Matthew King, appeared recently in the Columbus

Keeping Crop Insurance Affordable Key to ‘Doing No Harm’

November 13, 2014

The popularity of crop insurance was on full display during debate of the 2014 Farm Bill, and the phrase “do no harm to crop insurance” was uttered over and over again by farm leaders and policymakers alike when describing their policy goals. Lawmakers embraced the policy because, with crop insurance, farmers have skin in the

Availability Key to Crop Insurance’s Success

October 31, 2014

The passage of the 2014 Farm Bill marked a pivotal point in U.S farm policy, whereby the federal government ended direct payments in favor of crop insurance that farmers purchase to meet their unique needs.   Crop insurance has been around since the 1930s and for most of that time was widely underused and unknown.

Our View: An Apology Would Be Nice

October 23, 2014

When commodity prices were strong, farm incomes were up, and the agricultural sector was credited with helping offset some of the economic misery caused by the housing crisis, not too many people seemed happy for America’s farmers.   Quite the opposite. A lot of folks used the positive economic situation to attack agriculture and farm

Thailand’s Quest for World Domination… In Rice and Sugar

October 20, 2014

Thailand is a behemoth in the world rice market by anyone’s definition.   Using an assortment of subsidies and government programs, Thailand had grown to become the world’s biggest rice exporter by 2011. That year, it shipped 10.6 million tons of rice – or nearly one-third of global exports.   Apparently, that wasn’t good enough. In

Two New Videos Take Aim at Global Sugar Subsidies

October 10, 2014

During its recent annual convention, the American Sugar Alliance unveiled two educational videos to illustrate the ever-increasing rates of foreign sugar subsidization that are destroying the free market.   The first video described the stagnant, low-price environment in North America and steps taken by the U.S. sugar industry to increase its efficiency to survive, including

2012 Ag Census Up Close: Smart Farm Policies Essential To Young Farmers

September 18, 2014

The number of young farmers is trending modestly upwards, according to 2012 Ag Census released earlier this year. Young, beginning principal operators who reported their primary occupation as farming increased 11.3 percent from 36,396 to 40,499 between 2007 and 2012.   This increase in new blood is a welcome sight for a sector that has

Our View: Let the Science Speak for Itself

September 11, 2014

Farm Policy Facts has never shied away from calling out farm policy critics for mischaracterizing agriculture, defying common sense, or twisting facts to suit their agendas.   Yet for all the foolishness we’ve encountered – like comparing farmers to cheap drunks at an open bar, or critics’ close ties with Brazil, or erroneous claims of billionaires

Farm Incomes Estimated to Drop 14%; High Input, Low Crop Prices Cited For Decline

September 5, 2014

During the Farm Bill debate, many agricultural leaders pointed out the fact that farm policy should be written for the bad times, not the good.   It appears that such challenging times might be here sooner rather than later, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) forecasting farm income to drop 14

Global Subsidies Sour Sugar Prices

August 7, 2014

Sugar prices are in the tank, production efficiency in foreign countries is falling, and the globe’s growing appetite for subsidization is to blame. That was the message delivered loud and clear at this week’s International Sweetener Symposium.   A four-year glut of sugar has depressed prices and cut world prices in half since 2011, Jose

FPF Adds Tool to Homepage to Combat Misinformation About GMOs

July 18, 2014

Our country is blessed with the most diverse and affordable food supply on the planet.   We owe this to smart farm policy, the innovations of technology and chiefly to the “thin green line” of only 210,000 full-time U.S. farms that take on tremendous financial risks each year to produce a product that is safe,

Senator Mike Johanns: Farm Bill Tools Help Manage Risk, Guard Economy

July 10, 2014

The following column by Senator Mike Johanns is the most recent installment in the Senator’s weekly column series.   Nebraska is no stranger to the forces of Mother Nature. From violent thunderstorms and tornadoes to blizzards to drought, we’ve seen many heart wrenching examples of destructive weather. This is especially true for our state’s ag

Remember to Thank a Farmer for Your Food Independence

July 2, 2014

As you fire up the grill this Independence Day, be sure to thank a farmer, whose contributions help keep the cost of a Fourth of July feast under $6 bucks a person, according to a recent survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation. Considering Americans spend just 10 percent of our incomes on food –

Farm Policy Facts Calls On Lawmakers to Reject Additional Harmful Amendments to Farm Bill

June 11, 2014

In addition to the list of harmful amendments FPF circulated earlier today, additional attempts to damage the Farm Bill have surfaced. Farm Policy Facts urges members of Congress to oppose any amendment during the appropriations process that would harm the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) or crop insurance, including: Royce Amendment to Shift USDA

Members of Congress Voice Opposition to Rep. Kind’s Anti-Privacy Amendment

June 11, 2014

Moments after Farm Policy Facts sent out a note urging members to vote no on Rep. Ron Kind’s (D-WI) anti-privacy amendment, the Dear Colleague letter below was distributed by Reps. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Tom Rice (R-SC), and Henry Cuellar (D-TX). The Kind amendment is bad policy and should be rejected—as should all attempts to reopen

Farm Policy Facts Urges Lawmakers to Reject Harmful Amendments to Farm Bill

June 11, 2014

Farm Policy Facts urges members of Congress to oppose any amendment during the appropriations process that would harm the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) or crop insurance, including: The Kind Amendment to Disclose Private Farmer Information The Kind Amendment would strip out ALL privacy protections for farmers and ranchers participating in crop insurance, resulting

America’s Farmers and Ranchers Call On Congress To Do No Harm To Farm Bill

June 10, 2014

More than 30 agriculture groups are calling on Congress to oppose any amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill that would undo the careful compromises of the bipartisan 2014 Farm Bill, including the important risk management tools provided through the federal crop insurance program. The Farm Bill was enacted into law only four months ago and

Give Farmers and Ranchers a Break: Leave the Farm Bill Alone

June 10, 2014

America’s farmers and ranchers can certainly relate to a former president’s quip that “about the time we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends.” Producers from across the country breathed a collective sigh of relief after a four-year-long debate over a five-year Farm Bill finally came to a successful conclusion on February 7 and

Oklahoman Guest Op-Ed: Crop Insurance Is Smart Policy

June 4, 2014

Editor’s Note: The following guest op-ed by Max Claybaker, a farmer and a crop insurance insurance agent from Blackwell, Oklahoma, appeared in The Oklahoman on Sunday, June 1. In some parts of Oklahoma, it seems like wheat farmers just can’t catch a break. A late spring freeze, combined with excessively dry or extreme drought conditions

Our View: Subcommittee’s Approach to Ag Appropriations Appropriate

May 28, 2014

It is fair to say that things are a little hectic right now in farm country.Drought and fires continue their stranglehold on many farmers and ranchers while wet weather has seriously delayed planting for many others. The Farm Bill was approved by Congress only three months ago and implementation is only barely just begun. Important

FPF Addresses Inaccuracies in DTN Washington Insider Column

May 23, 2014

Editor’s Note: This column appeared in the May 23, 2014 edition of DTN-Progressive Farmer. Dear DTN-The Progressive Farmer: We write to clear up a few inaccuracies in your column of May 20, 2014, entitled Washington Insider: The Fight for Ag Policy Principles. First, President Bush did not veto twice or even once the 2002 Farm

The Heritage Foundation Continues Slide from Respected Think Tank to Propagandist

May 16, 2014

The Heritage Foundation recently published a new report detailing its 10 “guiding principles” for agriculture. As in the case of other reports, this report also departs from the respected analysis Heritage was once known for in favor of what appears to be the talking point of donors.   Over the years, Heritage increasingly starts with

Helena Independent Record Guest Editorial: Agriculture At Historic, Pivotal Point

May 8, 2014

The following guest editorial by Bing Von Bergen, past president of the National Association of Wheat Growers, recently appeared in the Helena Independent Record:   When the 2014 Farm Bill became law, it marked a pivotal moment in the history of U.S. farm policy. The new Farm Bill eliminated direct payments and replaced them with

CBO Update Confirms, Adds To Farm Bill Savings

May 6, 2014

On April 14, more than two months after enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the Farm Bill), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its revised estimates of the spending baseline for farm policy.   During the long debate on the Farm Bill, proponents touted savings that the Farm Bill was expected to produce —

Mexico Sours Sugar Farmers’ Easter Holiday

April 16, 2014

Nine in 10 Americans who will be celebrating Easter this year say they plan to stock up on candy, according to a National Retail Federation survey released April 9. All told, these celebrants will spend a combined $2.2 billion of Easter candy—an average of nearly $22 each—the survey found.   Those sales represent an incredible

2014 Farm Bill Means Big Changes For Agriculture

April 11, 2014

The 2014 Farm Bill represents a big transition for a major sector of the economy. Since 1996—for the past 18 years—farmers of major field crops from across the nation have received direct payments from Uncle Sam to help abate the risks associated with production agriculture. With the enactment of the Farm Bill—the Agricultural Act of 2014—those