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Chair Cheri Bustos Opening Statement at Hearing "A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Stakeholder Perspectives on Title XI Crop Insurance"

WASHINGTON House Agriculture Subcommittee Chair Cheri Bustos delivered the following statement at today's hearing “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Stakeholder Perspectives on Title XI Crop Insurance."

[As prepared for delivery]


Thank you to our witnesses and my colleagues for joining us this morning.

As a co-chair of the Congressional Crop Insurance Caucus, I am excited to hold this hearing, which continues the Committee’s work to gather input on how programs in the 2018 Farm Bill have been functioning.

A month ago, we held a hearing with a panel of ag economists on farm programs and crop insurance, and at the time many farmers in the Upper Great Plains were still trying to finish planting given the extremely wet conditions.

And farmers in the southern Plains have mostly wrapped up winter wheat harvest, which is in full force in the central and upper Plains today.

We continue to hear from producers about the impacts of high input costs and commodity price volatility in recent weeks.

In addition to hearings and meetings here in D.C., we have also been holding farm bill listening sessions out in the field, including ones hosted by Representative Tom O’Halleran in Arizona and by Congressman Jim Costa in California. And there are upcoming field listening sessions hosted by Congresswoman Kim Schrier in Washington on Friday and one in Minnesota next Monday hosted by Congresswoman Angie Craig.

The economic and growing conditions farmers are experiencing are ever-changing and they vary across the country, and that is why these sorts of hearings and other meetings are important to the work we are doing to understand what’s happening on the ground for producers.

Our attention today is specifically on the Federal crop insurance program. This hearing will gather input on how risk management provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill have been implemented and on how the crop insurance program has functioned for producers.

Throughout the last two farm bill reauthorization processes, the message I heard loud and clear was to do no harm to crop insurance. The program has been and continues to be a central risk management tool for producers across the country, and it has continued to grow and evolve to address the challenges and risks our producers are facing.

We have a well-rounded panel that will include testimony from an Approved Insurance Provider, a crop insurance agent, a developer of new products, and two farmers with experience with the program.

Thank you to each of our witnesses for the testimony you will be providing today.

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