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Federal Budget Cuts Could Mean Higher Crop Insurance Rates For Oklahoma Farmers

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma
Workers harvesting wheat on a farm near Altus, Okla., in June 2015.

The Trump Administration's recent budget proposal could mean bad news for Oklahoma farmers.

The proposal was introduced last month and, if passed, will reduce the U.S. Department of Agriculture budget by 21 percent.

This could result in higher rates for crop insurance, which could be detrimental to Oklahoma farmers as this farming season has already seen high levels of precipitation following a five-year drought.

Brenda Sidwell of Sidwell Crop Insurance says there are three segments under consideration, in the event of a budget reduction.

  • revenue protection will go away
  • a person with a farm larger than about 2000 acres will not receive subsidy
  • the adjusted growth income will decrease by about $400,000

She says farmers losing revenue protection is the most likely outcome.
"That will devastate some of our farmers," she says.

Sidwell recommends farmers communicate with their insurance agents to discuss their options.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s wheat harvest is more than halfway complete.

Southern crops are almost done for the season, while farmers in the north are facing some flooding, resulting in slower progress.

Mike Schulte, executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, says the outlook looks good for irrigation in the panhandle region despite facing drought conditions.

"There are areas where the dryland wheat actually looks a little better than it has in the past," he says.

Harvest in central Oklahoma is around 80 percent complete, and progress is just beginning in dryland areas.

Zoe Travers was a student reporter at KOSU from June 2017 to June 2018.
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