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Industry Letter Supporting Crop Insurance Protection

Targeted News Service

WASHINGTON, June 14 -- The Independent Community Bankers of America issued the following letter to Congress:

June 14, 2012

The Honorable Debbie Stabenow

United States Senate

133 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Sen. Stabenow:

We write to express our support for strong, efficient and affordable crop insurance protection for this nation's farmers and ranchers, and our opposition to any amendments that would undermine its effectiveness or the private sector delivery system.

Federal crop insurance provides an effective risk management tool to farmers and ranchers of all sizes when they are facing losses beyond their control, reduces taxpayer risk exposure, makes hedging possible to help mitigate market volatility, and provides lenders with greater certainty that loans made to producers will be repaid. The public-private partnership of program delivery works very well, allowing for personalized, tailored service to producers when they need it the most.

As the Senate considers the 2012 Farm Bill, we oppose amendments that will limit participation in crop insurance by producers, including efforts to impose means testing and limit premium support, and those that threaten efficient and effective private sector delivery.

Means testing and limitations on producer premium support fail to recognize that weather disasters happen anywhere and everywhere. By design, the crop insurance program treats all farmers equally, regardless of size. Limiting producer eligibility for premium support through a means test, or other limitation, discriminates against full-time farms and farms producing higher value crops. We cannot support amendments that limit risk management protection to farmers and ranchers who operate in a very risky environment.

Crop insurance is the cornerstone of most farmers' risk management portfolios. After a very challenging 2011 crop year, and with increasing demands for food, fiber, feed and fuel worldwide, it makes little sense to reverse the great progress Congress has made in providing crop insurance protection to producers. Thank you for your consideration of our views.

Sincerely,

Agricultural Retailers Association

American Association of Crop Insurers

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American Bankers Association

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Soybean Association

ARMtech Insurance Services, Inc.

CGB Diversified Services, Inc.

Cooperative Network

Credit Union Association of the Dakotas

Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau

Crop Insurance Professionals Association

COUNTRY Mutual Insurance Company

Farm Credit Council

Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa

Great American Insurance Company

Hudson Insurance Company

Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America

Independent Community Bankers of America

NAU Country Insurance Company

National Association of Wheat Growers

National Barley Growers Association

National Cooperative Business Association

National Corn Growers Association

National Cotton Council

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

National Sorghum Producers

National Sunflower Association

Producers Ag Insurance Group, Inc.

Rain and Hail, LLC

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Reinsurance Association of America

Rural Community Insurance Services

Southwest Council of Agribusiness

The Fertilizer Institute

US Canola Association

US Rice Producers Association

USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council

USA Rice Federation

Western Peanut Growers Association

TNS MT93 120615-3911102 61MarlizTagarum

Copyright:(c) 2012 Targeted News Service
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