From the Introduction: "The federal crop insurance program (FCIP) provides insurance coverage for the production of most U.S. agricultural commodities against financial losses caused by adverse growing and market conditions. This insurance coverage helps stabilize farm business incomes, which can help farmers to repay debt, reduce farm bankruptcies, and thus avoid disruptions to food, livestock feed, and other markets for agriculture commodities, including export markets. The FCIP supplies insurance coverage that is not otherwise available from the private sector and is a central component of the federal farm safety net, a collection of programs that provide risk protection and financial support to farmers in times of low farm prices and natural disasters. Farmers can choose from a variety of insurance coverage options to customize the coverage to the specific needs of their farm businesses. The federal government subsidizes the policy premiums to encourage participation. [...] This report provides an overview of the FCIP and of how farmers use federal crop insurance policies to manage financial risk. It discusses legal authorities and annual appropriations for the program, key milestones in the program's history, and how the FCIP relates to the broader U.S. agricultural policy framework. The report also reviews the rationale for providing crop insurance by the public sector and outlines several issues Congress may consider related to program expansion, reform, and oversight."
CRS Report for Congress, R46686
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/