In the wake of three hurricanes that have wreaked havoc on farms and ranches throughout the Southeast, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) leaders urged legislators to act on crop disaster assistance proposals developed by NCGA and introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2003. The call for action came as legislation to fund homeland security appropriations for hurricane victims was amended to include payments to farmers and ranchers who suffered weather related losses in either 2003 or 2004.
The legislation, known as the Companion Disaster Assistance Program Act (CDAP), was introduced by Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., and would provide a more effective means of delivering disaster assistance to producers who suffer significant yield losses and multiple-year shallow losses. The reforms offered in CDAP would strengthen efforts to encourage producers to purchase higher levels of federally subsidized crop insurance.
Today, insured growers who have been hit with crop losses of 35 to 40% receive minimal to no payments under the traditional disaster aid program that was designed before the crop insurance program reforms and new counter cyclical payment program. Worse, their net insurance payments will be small or none at all, says Ron Litterer, chair of the Public Policy Action Team.