Illinois politicians have been vocal this summer about the struggles facing the state’s farmers. Now, one of them is looking to raise awareness on Capitol Hill.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, founded the Congressional Crop Insurance Caucus, her office announced in a Friday, July 19 news release. Joining her to lead the bipartisan caucus is Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-15). 

The caucus will work with stakeholders to organize quarterly educational briefings to help members of Congress and staff better understand the crop insurance program, remain aware of current crop insurance issues and build bipartisan support for the farm safety net in Congress, according to the news release.

“Farmers across the country are facing a tough economy, a reckless trade war and unpredictable weather conditions – they need to know Congress has their backs,” said Bustos. “Crop insurance should never be a partisan issue, and I’m proud to work across the aisle with Congressman Thompson to build support in Congress for our farm safety net."

Corn and soybean farmers were hit particularly hard by flooding earlier this year, resulting in delays in planting that could affect yields.

In a June Daily Times report, Morton corn and soybean farmer David King estimated a 10 to 20 percent decrease in his yields due to the delays in planting.

The news release featured support from Ron Moore, an Illinois soybean farmer and board member of the American Soybean Association.

“Crop insurance is a critical component of the farm safety net for Illinois soybean growers,” said Moore. “Protecting and preserving the program is paramount, especially in years like this when Mother Nature has not been kind.”

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) CEO Jon Doggett also voiced support for the crop insurance program.

“NCGA’s farmer members have consistently cited the federal crop insurance program as their most important risk management tool to protect against significant production losses,” said Doggett via the news release. “In challenging times, like many farmers are currently facing, the program becomes even more critical.”