FARGO, N.D. – At a farm bill roundtable today, Senator John Hoeven outlined the importance of maintaining strong farm policy, which supports the hard work of the nation’s farmers and ranchers as they provide the food, fuel and fiber that America needs. Hoeven, who serves as a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, held the meeting today with Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-Ark.) to allow North Dakota producers, commodity groups and other agri-businesses to provide input as work begins on the next farm bill. The senator invited Boozman to the state to help ensure the unique needs and priorities of the region’s agriculture industry are addressed.
“Our farmers and ranchers do a tremendous job producing the highest quality, lowest cost food supply in the world, but the work they do and the challenges they face vary widely across our country,” said Senator Hoeven. “It’s essential that we continue to provide a safety net that can adequately meet our producers’ needs, no matter where they live and work. This is a special opportunity for North Dakota’s ag producers, farm groups and agri-businesses to provide direct input on the next farm bill. I appreciate my good friend and colleague Ranking Member Boozman for joining us, and I look forward to our continued work together to ensure our nation maintains a strong farm policy.”
“I am grateful for Senator Hoeven’s partnership and the invitation to join him for this very constructive discussion. Our states may be leading producers of vastly different commodities, but our producers still face similar challenges such as disasters, regulatory hurdles and policy decisions that directly impact their families and communities. That is why it is important for us to get out of Washington and learn from stakeholders across all regions about the opportunities and challenges they face day to day. This opportunity to hear directly from North Dakota’s agriculture community will help inform the direction of the next farm bill,” said Ranking Member Boozman.
In particular, Hoeven discussed efforts to:
· Maintain strong crop insurance, the primary risk management tool for many producers.
· Improve the farm safety net, including the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs.
o Hoeven highlighted the need to adjust the programs’ reference prices to better reflect the reality of the agriculture economy.
· Strengthen livestock disaster programs, including the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Livestock Forage Program (LFP) and the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP).
· Ensure conservation programs are farmer-friendly, with a focus on voluntary partnerships, like those under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)