Crop Insurance Premium Subsidies Influence on Family Farms

Crop Insurance Indemnity map
Though taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance programs are successful in increasing participation, an unintended consequence of such programs has been farm consolidation.

Crop Insurance Premium Subsidies Influence on Family Farms

The U.S. current taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance program represents a culmination of a series of legislative acts, beginning in 1980 with the Federal Crop Insurance Act, followed by the Federal Insurance Reform Act in 1994, and the Agricultural Risk Protection Act (ARPA) in 2000. All acts aimed at encouraging producer participation through increased premium subsidies and enhanced coverage options. Increased subsidization was effective in increasing participation, as more than 90% of corn acres were covered by some form of crop insurance by 2020. For 2021, premium subsidies in Nebraska for all crop insurance policies ranged from just over $36,000 in Hooker County to $10 million in Furnas County, with an average of just under $5 million (to view each county, see the interactive map. These subsidies can produce unintended consequences, and the identification of these unintended consequences can be useful to policymakers in rethinking future crop insurance policy design.

To learn more about the effect these subsidies have on the agriculture industry, read this article by Cornhusker Economics.

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