NSAC's Blog


Iowa Cover Crop Initiative Offers “Good Farmer Discount” on Crop Insurance

December 5, 2017

Editor’s Note: This blog is a guest post written by Ann Y. Robinson, Agriculture Policy Director for the Iowa Environmental Council, an NSAC member organization. Cover crops are catching on in Iowa. Over the last decade, farmers in the state have significantly increased the acreage of cover crops; as of 2016 an estimated ​6​00,000 acres […]

The Federal Crop Insurance Program: Status and Sustainability

November 3, 2017

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog written by Jeff Schahczenski, an agricultural and natural resource economist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program (ATTRA). A substantial update to his 2012 ATTRA publication, Crop Insurance Options for Specialty, Diversified, and Organic Farmers, will be available this December. Federal […]

Path to the 2018 Farm Bill: A Comprehensive Approach to Food and Farm Policy

November 1, 2017

Editor’s Note: On October 24, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) released its 2018 Farm Bill policy platform, An Agenda for the 2018 Farm Bill. NSAC has been a leader in agricultural policy for over 30 years, and has been instrumental in helping to develop some of our nation’s most successful agricultural programs for conserving […]

Federal Crop Insurance Program Delivery Can Be Improved Without Endangering Safety Net

August 30, 2017

For years, proponents of the status quo have rebuffed calls for modernization of the federal crop insurance program, claiming that any significant updates could cause the whole program to collapse. Like any good safety net, however, the program was never really that fragile. One of the challenges for those pushing for the program to become […]

Conservation Compliance is a Key Thread in Farm Safety Net

August 2, 2017

In order to be eligible for most federal farm programs, including the taxpayer subsidized federal crop insurance program, farmers whose land includes highly erodible areas or wetlands must adhere to specific conservation requirements. These requirements, known collectively as conservation compliance, are in place to ensure that our shared natural resources have a minimum level of […]

Senate Agriculture Committee Tackles Farm Bill Heavy Hitters: Commodities, Credit, and Crop Insurance

July 26, 2017

Yesterday, Senate Agriculture Committee hunkered down for an epic farm bill hearing, during which 17 witnesses gave testimony on three of the bill’s most significant titles – the Commodity Title (Title I), Credit Title (Title V), and Risk Management Title (Title XI). Witnesses at the hearing included representatives from commodity groups, banks, general farm organizations, […]

Disaster Assistance: from “Not a Penny” to New and Improved

June 6, 2017

Last week, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) released a new report indicating that changes to the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) made in the 2014 Farm Bill have been well-received by farmers and have led to a doubling of NAP applications – from 66,000 in 2014 to 138,000 in 2015. While this is […]

Progress on Organic Insurance Options and Data Collection

May 22, 2017

According to two recent reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to Congress, the Department is making some significant progress in their effort to increase the availability of data on organic production as well as the availability of insurance options for organic producers. Quality production data and the expansion of insurance options are inexorably […]

Path to the 2018 Farm Bill: Priorities for Sustainable Agriculture

April 4, 2017

Editor’s Note: As a lead up to the 2018 Farm Bill, around which discussions and debate in Congress have already begun, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is previewing some of the major programs and policies that advocates need to know in order to effectively engage. The final post in our series, “Path to the […]

Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Confirmation Hearing for USDA Secretary

March 24, 2017

Since January, the Senate has been holding confirmation hearings for President Trump’s cabinet nominees. On Thursday, March 23, the Senate Agriculture Committee held its confirmation hearing for Trump’s pick for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary, Sonny Perdue, the last of Trump’s cabinet nominees to be vetted by the Senate. The Committee will soon schedule […]