The Kentucky General Assembly is taking steps this legislative session to modernize the insurance fund for more than 17-thousand grain farmers.
Mayfield Representative Richard Heath says such an update of the program hasn’t been done for decades. The Western Kentucky lawmaker says many of the Commonwealth’s grain farmers are under stress. “Their input costs are high. The price of land is high. The price of equipment is high and grain prices are still about the same price they were back in the '80s,” said Heath.
Since that time, Heath says grain farmers can produce much higher yields using better equipment, weed control, and plant breeding. But, he says supply and demand factors have kept grain prices relatively stagnant for many growers.
Heath says grain farmers currently face no insurance fund assessments. But, the Mayfield representative says if the fund dips below three million dollars, an assessment would be reinstituted.
The grain insurance fund measure has passed both houses of the legislature.
Weku's Stu Johnson spoke with Representative Heath following House passage on March 7th.