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Organic Certification Cost Share Program and Crop Insurance - Farm Bill

The Organic Cost Share Program survives the Farm Bill vote. Crop Insurance will become fairer for organic farmers.

Senators voted down the amendment by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) to remove all funding for the National Organic Cost Share Program 42-57.

They also voted to end insurance discrimination so organic farmers will no longer pay more for less coverage. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)'s amendment to improve crop insurance for organic farmers has passed. Currently, when organic farmers face losses and file an insurance claim, they are not paid based on the price of the organic crop but instead based on the price for the non-organic equivalent crop, which is often considerably lower. Merkley's amendment ensures that organic farmers will be compensated for losses at the relevant organic prices.

Organic farmers also currently pay a higher premium for crop insurance than non-organic farms, and the additional cost combined with lower payouts is a main factor organic producers cite for not purchasing crop insurance. Senator Merkley's amendment requires USDA to set appropriate payment levels for organic farmers.

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