May 23, 2013


The Senate is expected to continue voting on the Farm Bill until Thursday of this week.  Therefore, it is vitally important that you urge your Senators to vote NO on all amendments that propose to cut, cap or limit crop insurance. We are particularly targeting an amendment offered by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) which would cap premium support for farmers.


Action Needed:


Please call your Senators and urge them to vote against the Durbin-Coburn (#953) amendment using the talking points below. Please send this grassroots alert to your employees, friends, family, and clients and also ask them to call to express their opposition to these amendments!


Senator Amy Klobuchar      (202) 224-3244

Senator Al Franken      (202) 224-5641


Talking Points:


  1. As an independent agent and small business owner in Minnesota I urge the Senator to vote NO on the Durbin/Coburn amendment (#953).
  2. Attempts to pick winners and losers and limit crop insurance participation and producer eligibility for premium support will have the unintended effects of reducing a farmer's ability to secure financing. This will increase calls for ad hoc, off-budget disaster assistance.

Background Information:


The amendment introduced by Sens. Durbin and Coburn would reduce premium support 15 percentage points below the amount normally provided for producers with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in excess of $750,000. This change imposes a 25% reduction in premium support for these farmers!


The drought of 2012 was the worst in 20 years, yet there was no financial crisis in agriculture and no calls for ad hoc disaster payments.  Farmers across the country were able to work with their agents to purchase adequate and effective coverage for their farms. Why undo the safety net that has made this possible?

Environmental groups also have a new realization that a small group of farms account for a large share of production, and their participation in crop insurance and adherence to conservation compliance is needed to maximize environmental benefits.  The last Census of Ag shows the top 1% of farms accounted for 40% of farm sales and the top 1.25% of farms accounted for 13% of harvested acreage.  The environmentalists do not want these farms to walk away from crop insurance.

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