If you’re a farmer, it’s not news to you that we’re in the middle of one of the worst droughts of the century. It hasn’t been this dry since 1956 – 55 percent of the continental United States was in moderate to extreme drought by of the end of June. Just this week, NPR interviewed Ohio farmer (and Public Insight Network source!) Bryn Bird, who said she’ll lose most of her sweet corn crop this year.
The photos and stories of dried-out fields and farmers selling off livestock got me thinking about crop insurance — specifically, that I didn’t have the faintest idea how it actually worked.
Crop insurance comes up in the news primarily when weather conditions are dreadful or Congress is debating a new Farm Bill, but few people who aren’t involved in agriculture understand it at all. This is a massive government policy, involving billions of taxpayer dollars.
That’s why we’re asking people who understand crop insurance — farmers, insurers, policy makers — to help us explain what even non-farmers should know about crop insurance. Please share your personal experience here, and we might contact you to find out more information for my story. Thanks so much for providing your insight.