The Garden City Telegram
11/1/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Your Views

Crop insurance

helps communities

It is easy to make cuts in government programs that do not affect us as individuals directly. When dollars spent on programs do not appear to correlate directly to our well being or our personal welfare, it is easy to determine that they are an unnecessary expense.

Such appears to be the case when it comes to crop insurance. There are several misconceptions about crop insurance. One of the greatest being the thought that crop insurance is a program designed for farmers only. It is true that some farmers do rely on crop insurance, but usually not for the reasons pointed out by those that oppose crop insurance. Farmers as well as landowners, that do not farm, usually do much better financially when they do not collect a loss through crop insurance because the actual crop is more valuable.

As pointed out earlier, there is a misconception about crop insurance and it needs to be corrected. Crop insurance should be looked upon as more of a rural sustainability program. Crop insurance can help communities stay in business.

In our rural areas that rely on agriculture as a lifeline, it is paramount to maintain a viable crop insurance program. It is essential because in a bad year when crops do not do well, crop insurance not only helps farmers stay in business, it does enable them to pay their bills and thus merchants and vendors can remain whole. With most crop insurance plans it is not equitable to do much more than that.

Although farmers and landowners pay about 40 percent of the insurance premium for 70 to 75 percent coverage of their crop, it is not affordable to ensure a higher percentage of the crop. When there is a loss and bills are paid because the plans usually cover 70 percent, the farmer is the entity that does not get paid, but they are able to stay in business.

By insuring a crop, the farmer and landowner is basically purchasing insurance for the whole rural community and are basically paying a portion of the premium for them to help keep them whole.

If we as a country are concerned about rural communities, we actually need to enhance the crop insurance program and make it more affordable in order to help maintain our rural communities. Since crop insurance is essential, think of crop insurance as community viability insurance.

RON SUPPES,

Dighton

City sidewalks on right track

I would like to thank the City of Garden City for all the work on sidewalks this summer. It used to be that you couldn't walk more than a house or two before you had to walk on the street. Now there are continuous sidewalks so I can walk almost all over town. Keep up the good work.

PETER HALL,

Garden City