Budget deal would cut popular crop insurance program, farm-state lawmakers object

WASHINGTON – The two-year budget deal comes up with savings from one of the most popular programs in farm country — federally subsidized crop insurance.

The move has angered top farm-state lawmakers who say they weren’t notified of the cut before the deal was struck. The crop insurance companies that depend on federal subsidies said in a statement Tuesday that the proposed $3 billion in cuts over 10 years could be devastating to the industry.

Budget-writers in Washington have long eyed the crop insurance program as a pot of available money. The program costs $9 billion annually. But farm-state lawmakers have fought to protect it, saying it makes the most sense for farmers and for the budget since it pays out when farmers suffer losses.