National Crop Insurance Services, an industry trade group, argues the program reduces taxpayers' costs even in a disaster like this year by preventing calls for bailouts. The program is a financial safeguard against ruinous weather, it says.
"It's necessary this year, especially with the drought," said Pam Johnson of Iowa, a farmer and president of the National Corn Growers Association. "We feel like we can't afford to be without it."
Crop insurance is a small part of the portfolio for the larger insurance companies, so the drought's impact on them could be muted. Neither Moody's nor Standard & Poor's are expected to make ratings changes because of losses on crop policies.
The program will likely remain a central part of U.S. farm policy for years to come, said Alan Murray, a senior vice president at ratings agency Moody's Investors Service.
"What does seem to be the case is that the sector is becoming more and more the vehicle by which the government manages financial risk for the agricultural sector," he said.