I’m very pleased to announce that, starting today, I am joining the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois as the Social Media Manager for the farmdoc Project.
As the farmdoc Social Media Manager, I will be disseminating tweets from my existing FarmPolicy Twitter account that feature farmdocdaily articles, as well as other tools, data and research from the farmdoc team. Also, I will offer tweets on other relevant news articles, government reports, and research analysis related to Corn Belt farm economics.
In addition to Twitter, farmdoc sites on Facebook and Instagram are now available. These sites will also include recently available information from farmdoc.
Lastly, a new farm policy blog site is currently under construction that will be available in the coming weeks. At the new farm policy blog, I will be posting summaries of recent news articles, government reports, current research, and Farm Bill developments tailored to Corn Belt farmers and stakeholders with an interest in the current issues impacting the agricultural economy.
Since 2009, the Washington, D.C. based law firm, McLeod, Watkinson & Miller, has generously underwritten the publication of FarmPolicy.com. FarmPolicy.com would not be possible without McLeod’s continued support.
In addition to the continued underwriting of McLeod, FarmPolicy.com is pleased to announce additional support from the law firm of Bartell Powell located in Champaign and Bloomington, IL.
Bartell Powell will be providing office accommodations to FarmPolicy.com in its downtown Champaign, IL office, 10 East Main Street.
FarmPolicy.com is a FREE daily summary of news relating to U.S. farm policy. Updates highlight news items dealing with the U.S. and global agricultural economy, including the Farm Bill, production agriculture, trade, biofuels and crop insurance.
An overview of yesterday’s report, which was completed in April and posted yesterday at the GAO Online, noted in part that, “The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the federal crop insurance program with private insurance companies, which, in turn, work with insurance agencies that sell crop insurance. In 2008, according to USDA, the program cost $6.5 billion, including about $2.0 billion in allowances to insurance companies to cover their administrative and operating (A&O) expenses, such as salaries and sales commissions to agencies. GAO was asked to examine (1) the reasons for recent substantial increases in A&O allowances, and the purposes for which insurance companies use these allowances, and (2) insurance agencies’ expenses for selling federal crop insurance policies, and questionable practices, if any, that agencies use to compete for business among farmers. GAO analyzed USDA and private insurers’ data, among other things.
“Between 2000 and 2009, companies’ A&O allowances nearly tripled, primarily because USDA’s calculation method for A&O allowances considers the value of the crop, rather than the crop insurance industry’s actual expenses for selling and servicing policies, which generally remained stable. This increase in the A&O allowances occurred without a proportional increase in the number of policies, acres, or amount of insurance coverage purchased. The higher A&O allowances occurred because of higher crop prices since 2006.”
McLeod, Watkinson & Miller Statement of Support for FarmPolicy.com
We have come to rely on the daily email reports of FarmPolicy.com as the best way to keep up with the many developments in American and global agriculture. There is no other report, either paid or free, that does as good a job as Keith Good does in FarmPolicy.com. Therefore, we were alarmed by the announcement that the reports would end on February 17th. We immediately called Mr. Good and worked out an arrangement for McLeod, Watkinson & Miller to fund the continuation of FarmPolicy.com after his arrangement with the German Marshall Fund ceases. Additionally, the daily emails of FarmPolicy.com will be posted on www.Agriculturelaw.com.