Members of the House Agriculture Committee gathered this past Wednesday to hear from concerned farmers, crop insurance agents, and industry representatives about the critical role that crop insurance plays in the farm safety net. As uncertainty and volatility loom in advance of the next Farm Bill, the group reinforced how crop insurance is built on a unique public-private partnership between the federal government and the private sector, making the program efficient, affordable, and adaptable to farmers’ needs. Each witness spoke to the strengths of crop insurance and how it protects the American farmer and rancher. “Do no harm to crop insurance.” continued the firm, repeated message.
Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, the chair of the hearing and co-chair of the crop insurance caucus in the House, noted, “The (crop insurance) program has been and continues to be central to risk management for producers across the country, and it has continued to grow and evolve to address the challenges and risks our producers are feeling.”
Minnesota farmer and VP of the National Corn Growers Association, Tom Haag, also stressed one of many examples of the challenges farmers are experiencing this year, including a late planting season due to cold or wet weather. He noted that about 30% of corn production is also in an area experiencing drought conditions. At last week’s Corn Congress in Washington, Haag said, “Corn growers stressed our No. 1 priority for the farm bill is to protect crop insurance from the harmful budget cuts and reforms.” He added, “Cuts to the federal crop insurance would negatively affect our farming operations.
“Crop insurance does more than just cover losses. It enables the producer to secure credit, to better market their crops, and to make the needed investments to improve their farm and ranch and build their soils,” stated Kathy Fowler, independent crop insurance agent and representative of the Crop Insurance Professionals Association (CIPA).
From Congress to America’s farms and ranches, the message is clear – crop insurance works. Now is the time for farmers and industry leaders to continue to make their voices heard. As a reminder, feedback is being accepted on the 2018 Farm Bill and suggestions for 2023 through this online form.
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