To bolster crop insurance, Hoeven unveils FARMER Act

Legislation sponsored on April 9 by U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) would improve crop insurance and make higher levels of insurance coverage more affordable for America’s agricultural producers.

“My legislation will make higher levels of coverage more affordable across the country, especially in states where it’s currently prohibitively expensive to buy up,” Sen. Hoeven said on Tuesday. “Ultimately, producers buying higher levels of coverage will lessen the need for ad-hoc disaster assistance in the future. That means a more resilient ag economy and a better deal for taxpayers.”

The Federal Agriculture Risk Management Enhancement and Resilience (FARMER) Act of 2024, S. 4081, has six original Republican cosponsors, including U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Deb Fischer (R-NE).

S. 4081, which Sen. Hoeven is working to include in the newest Farm Bill, also would improve the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) by increasing premium support and expanding the coverage level, providing agriculture producers with an additional level of protection, and direct the Risk Management Agency to conduct a study to improve the effectiveness of SCO in large counties, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Hoeven’s staff.

“Crop insurance is an essential piece of the farm safety net, providing farmers with their most important risk management tool as they work to continue providing Americans with the highest quality, lowest cost food supply in the world,” said Sen. Hoeven. “I have heard from producers across North Dakota about the need to make this important program more affordable. As such, we’re working to not only defend crop insurance, but improve it. That’s how we’re going to keep the farm in the Farm Bill.”

S. 4081 is supported by numerous organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Crop Insurance Professionals Association, the Southwest Council of Agribusiness, the U.S. Beet Sugar Association, the U.S. Canola Association, and the North Dakota Corn Growers Association, among many others. 

“Time and time again, it’s become painfully obvious that our farmers need improved access to high coverage crop insurance plans that adequately cover all the challenges in a growing season,” added Sen. Ernst. “To protect our ag community, I’m fighting to improve federal crop insurance and ensure that dollars in the Farm Bill actually go towards safeguarding our food and fields, not pie-in-the-sky climate change policies.”