(INDIAN WELLS, CALIF) – Last year’s drought put the country’s crop insurance system to the test, but the public-private partnership passed with flying colors, USDA Under Secretary Michael Scuse said today at the 2013 crop insurance annual conference.
During the disaster, Scuse traveled across rural America and gave farmers business cards with instruction to call if there were any problems or concerns about crop insurance or the speed of assistance delivery.
“To this day, I have yet to have a single producer call me with a complaint about crop insurance,” he said. “That is a testament to just how well your agents, your adjusters, the companies, and Risk Management Agency (RMA) worked together in one of the worst droughts in the history of this nation.”
Scuse noted that despite the volume of claims and acres covered, farmers received indemnity checks within 30 days of finalizing claims. “Meanwhile, all of this happens with RMA and [crop insurance] providers consistently operating at a very, very minor error rate,” he said, noting that America’s taxpayers are viewed as important stakeholders in the federal crop insurance program.
This success explains why Scuse noted other countries are looking to America’s crop insurance system as a model for their own farmers and ranchers.
Scuse noted that the USDA and the industry will continue to work together to offer new products for today’s ever emerging agricultural industry. “As agriculture grows and expands, the need for new and better products will continue,” he said, and “because of that we need to continue building on this great partnership that we have.”
“The risk to our farmers and ranchers continues to increase each and every year, and not just by the weather but by the increases in cost of production,” Scuse concluded. “We need to continue this partnership and working together… and make sure that the American citizens have the most abundant, safest and most cost-effective food supply to be found anywhere in the world.”