Iowa Ag Review

Article Title

Risk-Free Farming?


The direction of U.S. farm policy changed with the passage of the 2002 farm bill and the 2000 Agricultural Risk Protection Act. Previous farm bills, together with the old crop insurance program, had gradually moved the crops sector toward greater market orientation, with farmers taking on more market risk in exchange for greater planting flexibility. But the beginning of this decade brought with it increased protection against both adverse price movements and crop losses. These policy changes were brought about largely at the behest of farm commodity organizations, who argued that they needed increased protection against the vagaries of weather and market conditions. As we will demonstrate, the reduction in risk that U.S. crop farmers obtain from crop insurance and commodity programs is now so dramatic that we may have entered a new era of risk-free farming.