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Farmers may lose federal subsidies in favor of beefed up insurance - Bring Me The News

Farmers may lose federal subsidies in favor of beefed up insurance

Lawmakers are looking to cut costs in the new farm bill. Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson says much of the savings will come from replacing direct subsidies with an insurance program. The crop insurance will subsidize farm income if commodity prices fall below certain levels.
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Lawmakers are looking to cut costs in the new farm bill. Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson says much of the savings will come from replacing direct subsidies with an insurance program. The crop insurance will subsidize farm income if commodity prices fall below certain levels.

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Farmers' safety net is now a money bag

Designed as a safety net, crop insurance was meant to cushion farmers from the multitude of risks that farming is famous for, from hailstorms to floods, the Star Tribune reports. But now, about 80 percent of the country's crop insurance policies are revenue policies, protecting farmers not only from weather and yield losses, but also from drops in prices.

A smaller crop of farming subsidies

Federal funding may soon drop for Minnesota farmers. Lawmakers in Washington are close to a deal that would reduce agricultural subsidies nationwide. The proposal would save $23 billion dollars over 10 years.

Farmers group backs plan to overhaul dairy policy

The plan developed by Rep. Collin Peterson would replace dairy programs with new ones aimed at better protecting farmers by limited milk production when the difference between milk prices and the cost of producing it fell to a certain level.

Minnesota farmers hit record in 2011

The Pioneer Press reports the median net farm income was up one percent to hit a record $123,000 last year. Crop farmers were "still very profitable," but saw a slight decrease despite record-high crop prices. The dairy sector as well as hog and beef producers all saw improvements, according to the annual report released Wednesday.