Reform Crop Insurance to Incentivize Conservation

Reform Crop Insurance to Incentivize Conservation

The Federal Crop Insurance Program protects and encourages the most exploitative methods of farming. It contributes to farm consolidation and monoculture on a scale that has created a 6,000 square mile dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico while destroying farm profitability for all but a few of the largest operators that receive the bulk of federal support. As a farmer member of our Ag Agenda team put it, crop insurance “allows people to be bad farmers and still make money.”

Changes to the Farm Bill would improve the situation. No one is arguing against insuring farmers from disasters over which they have no control. But insurance should be appropriately tied to risk and not incentivize degradation and consolidation. Eligibility should be income-capped and ensure that farmers are not engaged in high-risk behaviors that may contaminate water.