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Crop Insurance: When "Subsidies" mean "Strong" 02/15/2012 @ 8:10am As a writer, I pay attention to the wordsmithing as Washington begins to discuss...anything. Apparently, certain words are chosen, and then repeated to the point that each of us create our own hard-wired definition and it begins to relieve us from the burden of thought. "Sustainablity" is an extreme example. The crop insurance debate has chosen "Strong". Since I am not yet hardwired for Strong = Subsidies, I am still thinking, but it is getting harder. It is to the point that I am going to ask my insurance company if my unsubsidized car and house insurance is "Weak". As a farmer, I realize the important of crop insurance, but I also understand the importance of risk and how that creates opportunities of innovation. Since the age of farmers creeps up, the policies start looking more like a comforter than a safety net. Just like direct payments are incorporated into land values, crop insurance subsidies are incorporated into status quo at a time when ag really needs new blood that is far more willing to address risk in an innovative manner than with a Strong Subsidy program.

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