Loss and Risk Affecting Federally Insured Crops in the US Open Access

Fischer, Ilana (Spring 2023)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/3f4626722?locale=en


Agriculture in the United States (US) has been revolutionized over the past century. One of the most significant changes is the simplification, intensification, and mechanization of crop production. Climate change is one of the most significant threats to our agricultural productivity. It is increasingly imperative to switch from cultivation paradigms prioritizing productivity and efficiency at the expense of socio-environmental viability for new paradigms addressing the social and environmental externalities of current agricultural problems. Agricultural production is deeply influenced by the policies and incentives laid out in the US Farm Bill, an omnibus piece of legislation which strongly influences how and where food is produced in the US, and by the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP). The United States is faced with a challenge: altering agricultural policies to encourage adaptation to climate change. Radical changes are necessary, and much of this responsibility falls upon the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which administers this program. In this paper, we provide an overview of the FCIP and past Farm Bills and investigate how they have shaped agricultural land use. We build upon prior research utilizing a measure of yield risk to make connections between the FCIP, land use change, and its influence on the riskiness of dominant crops cultivated over the past 30 years. Additionally, we use this measure of risk to identify the most pressing environmental threats to the agricultural productivity of major US crops and agricultural regions. Overall, the FCIP has a strong influence on US agriculture, and has the potential to mitigate the destruction of climate change.

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction - 1

2.0 Policy Overview - 2

2.1. History of Agricultural Development and Policies in the US - 2

2.2. Summary of FCIP - 4

3.0 Methods - 6

3.1. Datasets - 7

4.0 Results - 9

4.1. Planted Acres - 9

4.2. Lost Acres - 9

4.2.1. Loss Overall - 9

4.2.2. Loss by Cause - 11

4.2.3. Loss by State - 13

4.3. Loss-Cost Percentage - 14

4.3.1. LCP Over Time - 14

4.3.2. LCP by Cause - 15

4.3.3. LCP by Crops - 15

4.3.4. LCP by State - 17

4.4. Indemnity Payments - 18

5.0 Discussion - 20

5.1. Future Directions - 21

5.2. Limitations - 22

6.0 Conclusion - 22

7.0 References - 22

8.0 Supplemental Material - 25

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