Crop insurance is more effective for taxpayers than ad hoc disaster payments because farmers absorb a portion of losses through deductibles, and claims are paid only on proven yield amounts, crop insurance agent Matt Allen writes. The government also shares in underwriting profits in disaster-free years, writes Allen.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, said President Donald Trump told him during a recent conversation that "I want it [crop insurance] better, I want it great." Conaway said he is spreading the message throughout Congress that the president is completely supportive of a robust crop insurance program.
Farmers and agricultural leaders meeting with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue in New Mexico last week proposed crop insurance revisions and discussed trade issues, among other topics. Perdue was also scheduled to visit Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming.
Gradual increases in water vapor accompanied by warmer temperatures, amid increasing global temperatures, may bring higher corn crop yields in the Midwest, say Bruno Basso and Joe Ritchie of Michigan State University. The temperature trend changes may also make it possible to use hybrid varieties that extend the growing season and increase yields, the researchers said.
Farmers in west central Minnesota have planted most of their sugar beets and 75% of their corn while also getting soybeans started after high precipitation levels and cold temperatures caused delays. The crop insurance planting deadline is May 31 for corn and June 10 for soybeans.
Storms in Kansas last week provided needed moisture to some drought-affected wheat farmers, but up to 100% losses for areas struck by hailstorms. Many farmers who incurred damage are calling their crop insurance contacts, said farmer Vance Ehmke.
Seed cotton's new status as a covered commodity changes the decisions cotton farmers have to make, said Joe Outlaw of Texas A&M University's AgriLife Extension Service. Cotton farmers need to allocate their 2009-2012 base acres to different crops, consider revising payment yields and choose between Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage, he said.
A 2018 House farm bill amendment that would have allowed for the interstate sale of unpasteurized milk has been defeated after receiving opposition from the International Dairy Foods Association, dairy farmers, consumer groups and other parties. "Legalizing and regulating the sale of raw milk sends a signal to consumers that drinking unpasteurized milk is safe when, in fact, the opposite is true," said IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes.
Hundreds of UK farmers have joined the Arla R500 Resilience Project, which is designed to help farmers respond to opportunities and challenges while increasing profitability. "Taking the time to assess strengths and weaknesses, working with other farmers to gain insight, ideas and new perspectives and measuring change and success is key to being fit to compete in an age of increasing European and global volatility," said Graham Wilkinson, Arla Foods UK's senior director of member relations.
Walmart will launch its grocery delivery service across the Chicago market on Tuesday, charging $9.95 for same-day delivery. The addition of Chicago comes as the company strives to cover 40% of American households with grocery delivery services by year's end.