Hoeven Introduces FARMER Act to Strengthen Crop Insurance, Make Higher Levels of Coverage More Affordable

Senator Working to Enhance #1 Risk Management Tool for Producers, Include Measure in Farm Bill

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, today introduced the Federal Agriculture Risk Management Enhancement and Resilience (FARMER) Act, legislation to strengthen crop insurance and make higher levels of coverage more affordable for producers. Cosponsors of the bill include Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.). Specifically, Hoeven’s legislation, which he is working to include in the farm bill, would:

  1. Increase premium support for higher levels of crop insurance coverage, which will enhance affordability and reduce the need for ad-hoc disaster assistance.
  2. Improve the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) by increasing premium support and expanding the coverage level, providing producers with an additional level of protection.
  3. Direct the Risk Management Agency (RMA) to conduct a study to improve the effectiveness of SCO in large counties.
  4. Not require producers to choose between purchasing enhanced crop insurance coverage or participating in Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, giving them flexibility to make decisions that work best for their operations.

“Crop insurance is an essential piece of the farm safety net, providing farmers with their most important risk management tool as they work to continue providing Americans with the highest quality, lowest cost food supply in the world. I have heard from producers across North Dakota about the need to make this important program more affordable. As such, we’re working to not only defend crop insurance, but improve it. That’s how we’re going to keep the farm in the farm bill,” said Hoeven. “My legislation will make higher levels of coverage more affordable across the country, especially in states where it’s currently prohibitively expensive to buy up. Ultimately, producers buying higher levels of coverage will lessen the need for ad-hoc disaster assistance in the future. That means a more resilient ag economy and a better deal for taxpayers.”

Hoeven’s legislation is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, American Sugarbeet Growers Association, Crop Insurance Professionals Association, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau, Midwest Council on Agriculture, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Barley Growers Association, National Cotton Council, National Corn Growers Association, National Sunflower Association, Southwest Council of Agribusiness, U.S. Beet Sugar Association, U.S. Canola Association, U.S. Durum Growers Association, Western Peanut Growers Association, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, North Dakota Corn Growers Association, North Dakota Farmers Union, North Dakota Grain Growers Association, North Dakota Soybean Growers Association and the Northharvest Bean Growers Association. A summary and the full bill text of the legislation can be found here and here, respectively. Statements of support can be found here.