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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7ca0000Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri, Harvest covers agriculture-related topics through a network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.Like Harvest Public Media on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @HarvestPM.

Environmental Group Supports Crop Insurance Cuts

Amy Mayer
Harvest Public Media

Congress is debating restoring $3 billion in recent cuts to the crop insurance program as part of a transportation bill. Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer says at least one environmental group thinks the cuts should stay.

The cuts are controversial because farmers depend on crop insurance in lean times and the current program grew out of painstaking farm bill negotiations. But the Environmental Working Group, a longtime critic of farm subsidies, says the cuts wouldn’t hurt farmers. Companies might have to tighten their belts.

Iowa State University economist Bruce Babcock did the math for EWG.

"You would end up with a more efficient delivery system, you would end up with about the same companies and the same number of agents, maybe a bit of consolidation," he says.

Babcock says he used figures from the industry itself to conclude crop insurance companies have fat they could trim.