crop insurance

Heather Adams / KBIA

Wild dogs, coyotes, and bobcats are just some of the predators that have always been a threat to ranchers who raise sheep or goats. Traditionally, people think of getting dogs to help protect their flocks and herds. But there is another option and it’s becoming more popular among ranchers. Guard donkeys. KBIA’s Heather Adams has more.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

In recent years, farmers in the Midwest have transformed millions of acres of prairie grass to rows of corn. High crop prices are a big motivation, but some also believe crop insurance is encouraging farmers to roll the dice on less productive land.

Rod Christen and his sister Kay farm corn, soybeans and wheat on their land near the small town of Steinauer, Neb. But their main crop is grass.

“Big bluestem is our big producer,” said Rod Christen. “It’s kind of our Cadillac grass.”

Environmental group says drought losses avoidable

Aug 27, 2013
Credit Chad Sawyer/The SAWYER Agency (Courtesy of NRDC)

Farmers across the country received more than $17 billion in federal crop insurance payouts after last year’s drought. A report released on Tuesday by an environmental group blames farmers for not doing enough to shield the soil against the heat. 

Crop insurance is a big part of the farm bill debate in Washington this year. The Senate recently passed a bill that would expand the heavily subsidized program. And now the House is zeroing in on the issue. Several amendments to the farm bill pending in the House would curb how much the government provides to cut the cost farmers pay for crop insurance. But, premiums aren’t the only part of the system supported by tax payers. Crop insurance companies also enjoy lots of government largess. Harvest Public Media’s Frank Morris reports.

Why crop insurance subsidies are winning out

Jun 19, 2013
farmer in a field
Frank Morris / Harvest Public Media

There is little doubt that crop insurance will emerge from the current farm bill process with hefty subsidies in place. If anything, the program will become a larger part of the farming safety net.

Say the words "crop insurance" and most people start to yawn. For years, few nonfarmers knew much about these government-subsidized insurance policies, and even fewer found any fault with them. After all, who could criticize a safety net for farmers that saves them from getting wiped out by floods or drought?

Newscast for August 02, 2012

Aug 2, 2012

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Rep. Akin discusses Senate campaign ahead of primary
  • Livestock farmers seek safety net, while Washington politics delay aid
Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

This week, we'll hear a report about taxpayer subsidized crop insurance, and find out how a guano harvest could help some penguins.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

Corn prices surged to a new record high on Monday, as the worst drought in more than 50 years continues to plague more than half the country.

US Ag Secretary talks cuts

Jan 27, 2012

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is in Missouri touting President Obama’s job creation plans, laid out this week in his state of the union address. This comes as the agriculture department faces a shrinking budget.

Business Beat: Nov. 2, 2011

Nov 2, 2011
Adventurer Dustin Holmes / Flickr

This week: Special Session ended last week with many questions still unanswered, and farmers are doing everything they can to hold on to government subsidies for crop insurance.