USDA’s Administrator of the Risk Management Agency, which oversees Federal crop insurance, was in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, attending a conference hosted by the state’s Department of Agriculture.
Speaking to attendees at the 18th annual Pennsylvania Crop Insurance Conference, he talked about the state of Federal crop insurance, and broke the news of changes to USDA’s Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Policy. The policy covered nearly $2.6 billion worth of American crops last year, up from $1 billion in 2015.
“We need to get out to understand what we’re doing, how things could be tweaked a little to help farmers,” Barbre, a long-time corn and soybean farmer from Illinois said. “We’ve heard of some challenges with the policy from farmers in the Keystone State and elsewhere. Hopefully new changes announced today will address those concerns.”
During a three-day visit, Mr. Barbre also traveled to Adams County to tour an apple orchard and tree nursery, as well as a dairy farm in Gettysburg.
“I think it’s highly critical that we get out on the farms and actually meet the people that are producing our crops in this country, that way we can better pin our products to meet their needs,” Barbre explained. “Without seeing their production practices, it’s hard to make those good decisions.”
USDA’s Federal crop insurance program currently covers more than 90 percent of America’s principle crops. Last year in the Keystone State, there were approximately 8,500 Federal crop insurance policies, covering more than $490 million worth of crops. More than $19 million was paid to Pennsylvania farmers for insurance claims caused by natural disasters, such as hail storms or floods.
To learn more about Federal crop insurance, Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, and other RMA programs, visit www.rma.usda.gov.