Guebert: Crop insurance program shows it works, again

Hurricanes put benefits of crop insurance on display; IFB president says it would be a bad year to ask Congress for additional financial assistance.

IFB President Richard Guebert Jr. said harvest is underway in his area of southwestern Illinois. Hear about how his crops look in the attached audio file. (Illinois Farm Bureau file photo)
IFB President Richard Guebert Jr. said harvest is underway in his area of southwestern Illinois. Hear about how his crops look in the attached audio file. (Illinois Farm Bureau file photo)
By DeLoss Jahnke

For many farmers, the 2017 growing season has been far from ideal. Too much spring rainfall led to replanted fields, sometimes more than once. And a warmer-than-normal July had a devastating impact on some cornfields during the pollination process, dramatically reducing yields.

Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. said 2017 will be another example of the crop insurance system at work. And the system needs to remain in place so that it can continue to help the nation’s farmers.

“It’s a tool in our toolbox to help give us the opportunity to farm next year,” said Guebert on the RFD Today radio program. “You look back at the drought of 2012, crop insurance did what it was supposed to do. And the ag community did not go to Congress for supplemental disaster payments, and that’s its intent.

“Crop insurance does work out in the countryside, and our members need it more than ever,” Guebert added.

The benefits of crop insurance will likely be highlighted this year, as disaster payments will be made to those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Guebert says it would be a bad year to go to Congress and ask for additional financial assistance.

Related: Government report on crop insurance puzzles lawmakers, farmers. Click here.

Maintaining crop insurance was a topic earlier this month, when IFB members participated in the organization’s Leaders to Washington event.

“As a young producer, crop insurance is important just to stay in agriculture,” said Knox County farmer Drew DeSutter, who participated in the trip. “Especially with depressed crop and livestock prices, bankers love to see that … almost essentially have to have that.”

DeSutter said it’s a personal message to Washington for the need to maintain an effective crop insurance program.

“When you sit down and talk about your generational farms and how it’s an investment for the long-term, they really can relate to those types of stories, and I think it really hits home.”

Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.

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