Farmers manage crops, maintain equipment and market products, often while balancing a second job and family demands.
Adding a dispute with a crop insurance company is the last thing farmers need.
Kevin Glanz, a farmer near Manchester, has planted cover crops for five years. Cover crops are usually grasses or legumes planted between crop rotations to suppress weeds, manage soil erosion and help soil quality.
Last year, his crop insurance agent raised concerns. After three in-person inspections as part of a quality control audit, Kevin understood if he filed a claim in the fall, his loss may not be covered due to a cover crop practice.
Crop insurance is managed by the federal government, which underwrites policies. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has established “Good Farming Practices” to help define good crop management and stewardship.
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However, “Good Farming Practices” does not address cover crops, so there is an additional set of guidelines that direct when farmers should terminate cover crops before planting their main crop to remain eligible for crop insurance.
In 2015, the government spent nearly $8 billion on administering crop insurance, including support for farmers’ crop insurance bills (or premiums), indemnities, and expense reimbursement to crop insurance companies.
Congress is beginning work on the next farm bill, and we urge our elected representatives to consider policies that encourage crop insurance companies to support conservation practices, such as cover crops.
Farmers and good stewards like Kevin need to know they can depend on their crop insurance.
Center for Rural Affairs,
Fight for your rights
It’s turning into a long hot summer for the emerging global counter-economy.
In June and July, an international group of law enforcement agencies took down two of the largest “dark web” marketplaces, Hansa and Alphabay.
Then on July 25, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a weird, barely coherent, press release seemingly kinda sorta but not exactly declaring its own plenary authority over all things cryptocurrency.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced its indictment of cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e for “money laundering” even as one of the site’s admins, Alexander Vinnik, was arrested in Greece.
What we’re seeing is the latest bit of backlash from a political establishment scared witless by technologies which threaten to make it superfluous.
A friend of mine who writes under the pseudonym dL notes that the “trajectory of technology follows a repeated path. When first introduced, it gives an asymmetric advantage to the individual. Over time, the state catches up and the asymmetric advantage shifts to the state.” Maybe he’s right. Maybe the political class will be able to nip a bright future in the bud and maintain its grip on power.
On the other hand, Victor Hugo seemed quite sure that “one withstands the invasion of armies; one does not withstand the invasion of ideas.”
We stand at the doorway of a future featuring money without borders, work and trade without permission. That future represents existential crisis for the political class: The end of the state as we know it. Absent the ability to tax and regulate its host, the parasite known as government starves and dies.
The situation is equally dire for the rest of us.
High-profile takedowns like the Silk Road, Alphabay, Hansa and BTC-e, large as they loom in the moment, are speed bumps. The road to the future remains open, and the only way to plausibly close that road off entirely is to essentially pull the plug on every technological development since the introduction of the personal computer.
There’s no doubt that the American and global political classes are willing to go there. Any number of regimes have done so on a temporary and semi-effectual basis in times of unrest, and American politicians have seriously proposed ideas like an “Internet Kill Switch.” The excuse for such proposals is to protect us from terrorists and drug dealers, but make no mistake: Their real purpose is to protect our rulers from us.
Thomas L. Knapp, Florida