Crop Insurance Today September 2014 - (Page 1)
"...Where to now, St. Peter?"
This is the second in a three-part series. The original article was published in the
May 2014 issue of Crop Insurance TODAY ®.
Laurie Langstraat, Editor
Hannah Wiebelhaus, Assistant Editor
TODAY® IS PROVIDED AS A SERVICE OF
NATIONAL CROP INSURANCE SERVICES®
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MANAGEMENT TOOLS PRODUCERS USE
TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM
THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH
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NCIS® EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Tim Weber, Chairman
Mike Day, Vice Chairman
Jim Korin, Second Vice Chairman
Thomas P. Zacharias, President
Charles Lee, General Counsel
James M. Crist, CFO/COO
Frank Schnapp, Senior Vice President
Mike Sieben, Senior Vice President
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Many of us recall the Seinfeld television series
which aired for 10 years with 180 episodes. In sitting
down to share my thoughts for this President's Message, I was reminded of Episode #159 "The Serenity
Now" (aired October 9, 1997). In this particular episode, George's father was "prescribed" to utter the
phrase "Serenity Now" when he felt his blood pressure
Here is an excerpt from the transcript of that
Frank Costanza: "Serenity Now! Serenity Now!"
George Costanza: "What is that?"
Frank: "Doctor gave me a relaxation cassette. When
my blood pressure gets too high, the man on the tape tells
me to say, 'Serenity Now!'"
Tom Zacharias, NCIS President
George: "Are you supposed to yell it?"
Frank: "The man on the tape wasn't specific."
Okay, enough levity and stream of consciousness. What does this have to do with crop insurance and the new Farm Bill?
As readers of this quarterly discourse may recall, in the last issue of TODAY® we asked "Where
to Now, St. Peter?" as crop insurance has become the centerpiece of the farm safety net in the 2014
Farm Bill. In discussing the "Road" to be traveled, we focused on three key elements for crop insurance to be successful as we go forward. These elements are: 1) availability; 2) affordability; and
In the previous issue we discussed crop insurance availability. Crop insurance is now widely
available in 3,135 counties nationwide with more than 120 different crop programs covering 296
million acres in 2013 with $124 billion in crop protection liability. We also stressed the importance
of the new Farm Bill as it established risk management-based crop insurance as the foundation
of future agricultural policy. With passage of the Farm Bill, two new risk management products
became available for private sector delivery: the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) and the
Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX). In addition to SCO and STAX, existing coverage will be
enhanced with the Enterprise Unit discount moving from a pilot to a permanent program and the
expansion of enterprise unit availability by practice. The Farm Bill also provides beginning farmers
and ranchers with additional premium discounts and the benefit of higher insurable yields, making crop insurance more affordable and available to more growers.
So, back to our latest Seinfeld episode...we turn to "Affordability Now."
A Little Background on Affordability
Affordability goes hand-in-hand with availability. The progression of the modern day crop
insurance program is in no small part due to the emphasis and investment Congress has made in
making crop insurance products more affordable. Let us take a little walk down memory lane....
Historically, concern over the limited availability of insurance for farmers and insufficient capacity to cover catastrophic risks faced by private companies resulted in the Federal Crop Insurance
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Continued on page 38
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Crop Insurance Today September 2014
The PRISM Climate & Weather System in Crop Insurance
2013 Research Review
First Day at School? A Word of Advice
Finally a Farm Bill... So What's Next?
AFA's Value to Students and Agriculture
2013 U.S. Crop-Hail & MPCI Loss Ratio by State
The Future of TODAY
Crop Insurance Today September 2014