America’s farmers don’t profit from crop insurance. They’d rather grow and harvest a crop than file a crop insurance claim.
We recently shared an explainer demonstrating how crop insurance is an investment into the protection of family farms – not a get-rich-quick scheme. A brand-new series of interviews with farmers in the field confirms that farmers buy crop insurance with the hopes of never needing to actually use it.
“By no means are we going to get rich off of crop insurance,” fourth-generation farmer Steve Koretoff said.
Steve recalled a massive hailstorm that mowed down about 1,000 acres of cotton. “If it wasn't for the fact that we had crop insurance, it would have been a devastating loss for our operation.”
Farmer Eric Ott knows that feeling of devastation all too well. This year, flood waters destroyed two alfalfa fields and his walnut fields. “It's sad,” he said. “You put your heart and soul into growing these things and then it just goes like that and there's nothing.”
Eric was grateful he had crop insurance to help offset his losses, but crop insurance did not make Eric whole, let alone allow him to recoup the potential income that he would have received from selling that alfalfa and walnut crop.
“We're not in this to make money, to collect the insurance to make money. We just want to be able to pay the bills and sleep at night and not lose the farm.”
When almond farmer Donny Hicks had a disastrous harvest one year, he filed a crop insurance claim to cover the costs he had already invested into that year’s almond crop.
“Of course, not making any money, but covering our cost and getting through so that we could continue to farm the next year,” he said.
“The last thing I want to do is collect crop insurance,” fourth generation farmer Craig Ledbetter echoed. “But it's also something that if disaster happens that I absolutely need…to break even and give you a fighting chance for another year.”