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Farmer testifies crop insurance good but could be better

Famers who testified at a House Ag Subcommittee hearing on commodity protections today says crop insurance is essential now and moving into the 2023 Farm Bill.

Jeff Kirwan, of Kirwin Farms in New Windsor in northwestern Illinois, says crop insurance tools work for him but could always be better.

“Anything that we can do to increase the amount of coverage, whether that’s top up type programs or the additions to get into those higher percentages of an insured crop, or insuring the crop would be a real benefit.”

Kirwin also told members of the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management subcommittee, chaired by Represenatative Cheri Bustos of Illinois, staffing at USDA offices needs to improve to meet all the challenges farmers face.

“Our office was short-staffed through a lot of this (pandemic). We’ve had a lot of turn over.  So anything we can do to add more staff to help and then I would also encourage relationships within the other agencies in that office – NRCS and FSA to work together better to implement these programs.”

Kirwin and the other farmers on the panel all said they appreciate the government programs like MFP that got them through this past year but the WHIP Plus program payments were too slow going out.

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