Crop Insurance Today February 2012 - (Page 1)

TODAYPRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Isn’t there an Laurie Langstraat, Editor TODAY IS PROVIDED AS A SERVICE OF NATIONAL CROP INSURANCE SERVICES® TO EDUCATE READERS ABOUT THE RISK MANAGEMENT TOOLS PRODUCERS USE TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH PRODUCTION AGRICULTURE. App for that? TODAY is published quarterly–February, May, August, and November by National Crop Insurance Services 8900 Indian Creek Parkway, Suite 600 Overland Park, Kansas 66210 If you move, or if your address is incorrect, please send old address label clipped from recent issue along with your new or corrected address to Laurie Langstraat, Editor, at the above address. NCIS Website: NCIS® EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Steve Rutledge, Chairman Ted Etheredge, Vice Chairman Tim Weber, Second Vice Chairman NCIS® MANAGEMENT Thomas P. Zacharias, President P. John Owen, General Counsel James M. Crist, CFO/COO Frank F. Schnapp, Senior Vice President Mike Sieben, Senior Vice President Creative Layout and Design by Graphic Arts of Topeka, Inc., Kansas Winner of The Golden ARC Award Printed on recycled paper. Over the past twelve to eighteen months, many of us have been in the process of making the transition to the iPad or similar tablet-based computers. As we embrace this new technology, we have become increasingly exposed to the somewhat Brave New World of “applications,“ commonly referred to as “apps.” So, what is an “app” - how do they work; what do they do? On a very basic level, apps are simply software designed to perform specific functions or computational operations. In the tablet environment, apps run the course of file management systems, office and personal productivity systems, calorie counters, etc. - you Tom Zacharias, NCIS President name it. Now, the stretch...what if we APPly this thought process to agricultural risk management and agricultural policy. Just suppose we needed to develop an infrastructure to provide financial stability and risk management tools for our nation’s farmers and ranchers. Suppose we wanted to combine the strengths of both the public and private sector to create such an infrastructure that would provide comprehensive risk management coverage to the majority of food and fiber crops found in the U.S. Hmm…let me think, isn’t there an app for that? Wow, Inspector Gadget?!?! What about the crop insurance program? Since the 1980s this public - private partnership has continually expanded to become the centerpiece of the agricultural safety net for U.S. farmers and ranchers. If this “app” is going to work, we would need to make sure that farmers get enrolled in the program, purchase adequate levels of coverage, and are aware of the various types of crop insurance products available. Isn’t there an app for that? Hmm...what about the nationwide network of state-licensed crop insurance agents? These hard working men and women scattered throughout rural America do just that. In 2011, the agency force enrolled more than 264 million acres, providing over $113 billion in crop insurance protection on over 1.1 million policies. Well, it just so happened that in 2011 we experienced major flooding and levee breaks along both the Mississippi and Missouri River systems. According to RMA, more than 800,000 acres of cropland was flooded in 2011 in Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas (Rebecca Davis, Topeka RO - January 29, 2012). More pervasive and more devastating, in terms of impacted acres than the flooding, was the widespread drought experienced in the Southwest and Southern Plains. With all of those flooded and drought-stressed acres covered by crop insurance, how are farmers going to get paid in a timely basis for their insured losses? Isn’t there an app for that? Hmm…How about the nationwide network of Continued on page 34 CROP INSURANCE TODAY® 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Crop Insurance Today February 2012

Isn't there an App for that?
Explaining the Costs of the Crop Insurance Program
NCIS Awards Two Scholarships
2012 Spring Update Conference
Commitee Sees Research First Hand
Trade Talk 2011
Retirements: Ben Latham and Steve Hams
In Memory of Patrick Flanagan
In Memory of Marx M. Mannberger
Step 5-Testing the Current Farm: Will the current farm be feasible in the future?
2011 Premiums: State Rankings
Insurable Crops: Locations & Plans

Crop Insurance Today February 2012