Crop Insurance Legislation Wins Approval of Full Senate
de Senerpont Domis, Olaf, American Banker
WASHINGTON -- Legislation that will help protect agricultural lenders against the risk of crop failure was approved by the Senate last week.
The Senate-passed bill attempts to replace the current system of ad hoc disaster relief with low-cost federal crop insurance. Under the bill, farmers must purchase insurance in order to qualify for agricultural subsidies.
Currently, when crops fail, uninsured farmers gamble that Congress will grant ad hoc disaster aid to their area. However, if the funds are not mandated, farmers end up with nothing, and agricultural lenders often end up with a bad loan.
The Senate passed the Federal Crop Insurance Reform Act by voice vote late Thursday, squeezing it in before passing the crime bill and leaving for recess.
The House passed a similar measure on Aug. 5. The bill is now cleared for both chambers of Congress to meet in conference and hammer out their differences on the legislation.
Although the conferees have not been named yet, the conference committee could meet as soon as the week of Sept. …