Farm Bill Needs for Specialty Crops

Farm Bill Needs for Specialty Crops

Tim Hammerich
Tim Hammerich
News Reporter
This is Tim Hammerich of the Ag Information Network with your Farm of the Future Report.

Small farms growing specialty crops face several challenges, including crop insurance. Nick Carter, owner of Mud Creek Farm, shared the importance of small farms with the Senate Agriculture Committee Wednesday.

Carter… “It was a great opportunity to be able to share with the ag committee that the farm bill has opportunities to make federal programs more accessible and more beneficial to small, diversified agriculture. For example, crop insurance is fairly inaccessible to small farmers, the same with a lot of the grant programs that have become pretty onerous to apply for and manage. But small farms have a huge impact on local economies, rural economies, and they need to be focused on.”

Carter says specialty crop growers need improved access to crop insurance.

Carter… “Specialty crops are some of the riskiest crops to put out, they're far more sensitive to changes in weather patterns and just climate issues. If you're putting out specialty crops like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, any of the foods that we eat on our plate, it's very difficult to get crop insurance that's meaningful, actually mitigates the risk of putting it out. And so, as a result, I think we're seeing fewer farmers willing to convert into growing specialty crop from row crop because the risks are just insurmountable.”

It is vital that elected officials hear from real producers like Carter.

Carter… “The people in that committee are not farmers themselves. They've never grown food and they haven't delivered a baby calf, they've never collected eggs and sold them on the market. So, they've got to understand what it's like for their constituents who are feeding America.”

Again that’s Nick Carter with Mud Creek Farm.

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