Above: Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Hill.
As the Senate prepares to markup its version of the 2013 farm bill, Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Hill says IFB’s foremost goal is keeping crop insurance supported at the current level. Hill says there’s no authorization to expand it or increase spending, but with the removal of some farm programs and the consolidation of others, he says crop insurance could come under fire as larger budget items disappear.
It is a large budget outlay considering the other programs that have been eliminated, such as ACRE, such as direct payments – and the number of programs that have been combined. So it makes crop insurance stand out a bit, even though the spending isn’t authorized for any increases, it is the largest spend of the commodity title. [The] research title actually long-term has a lot of benefits to agriculture that was don’t really think about, so we want emphasis placed on research, and then of course conservation; we’ve got to maintain out landscape and maintain our soil, so the programs around conservation are incredibly important to Iowa farmers.
Crop insurance isn’t the only focus for Iowa Farm Bureau in the next farm bill. Hill mentions the research title, which contains much of the bill’s language on specialty crops and grants, and the conservation title, which streamlines CRP and reauthorizes CSP and EQIP.