Sen. Klobuchar: Weather events show the need for crop insurance prioritization in Farm Bill

The Minnesota senator, who represents a farming state, says current events across the U.S. highlight the need for attention to crop insurance.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

With roughly three months to go before the new, 2023 Farm Bill is due, Senator Amy Klobuchar, the Democrat from Minnesota, says recent and ongoing weather events highlight the need to pay close attention to crop insurance.

“We don’t want to be one of those countries that have seen escalating ag prices and also have to import all their food,” Sen. Klobuchar said. “We want to be a country that grows crops, that produces meat, that is able to export to the world as well as feed our own people. So, I think it’ll be a lesson and shows the need for crop insurance whenever we have difficult weather events, whether they be droughts, whether they be floods, whether they be any kind of disastrous storm, we’ve got to stand ready—and that is why we have this safety net in the farm bill.”

The Minnesota lawmaker says food security is national security, noting that crop insurance matters when it comes to having an abundant food supply.

“We’ve always been really smart about including in this bill, the nutrition programs, which includes schools and all kinds of other nutrition assistance to vessel support to pass the Farm Bill, because we do have some people from urban areas that don’t have big rural areas that still support the farm bill because of the nutrition programs or the conservation program,” Klobuchar said.

She is not the only one looking at crop insurance. Researchers at North Dakota State University are studying the impact of capping crop insurance premiums in the next Farm Bill. Researchers told Brownfield Ag News that the crop insurance system has been stressed in recent years, and it is why they are calling for more options rather than ad hoc disaster payments.

As work continues on the Farm Bill, Sen. Klobuchar says she has other priorities for the ag sector as well.

“One of the things that we want to make sure is that all of our FSA and our economic development agencies are strong, that’s always helpful. But the other is a pipeline of people and students going into ag, and so that’s why I’m one of the chief co-sponsors of a bill that focuses on community colleges offering training for those that want to go into Ag,” Klobuchar said.

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