Crop Insurance for Organic Farmers Addressed in Farm Bill

House version of farm bill includes effort to make payments more equitable for organic farmers. Help by calling on Senators to support the provision.

If you grow crops using organic methods, you’ll pay more for crop insurance — but if losses occur, you’ll receive compensation at the price of the conventional crop, not the higher organic price.

But a change may be possible. The 2007 Farm Bill currently contains provisions that offer hope for the more equitable treatment for organic farmers.

  • First, the House version of the 2007 Farm Bill includes significant support–more than $300 million–for organic agriculture.
  • And the bill also includes a major revision to the crop insurance rates required of organic farmers, which has been higher than for non-organics. This would be a big help in bringing down the price of organic foods.

OTA Executive Director Caren Wilcox described the inequities of the crop insurance system as “a key impediment to more farmers converting their land to organic production.”

According to the Organic Trade Association:

“In addition to the funding, the House of Representatives also directed the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to provide equitable crop insurance to organic producers. Currently, organic producers pay a 5% surcharge, and if losses occur, they are paid at the conventional, not the organic, price. Non-organic farmers do not have to pay the 5% surcharge. Why do the organics? Do they have different droughts? Floods? They deal with pests, just without chemicals.”

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