Apr 11 2012
Senator Gathers Input, Briefs Farmers, Ranchers on Status of New Farm BIll Legislation
WILLISTON, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today gathered agricultural producers from Western North Dakota for a forum to brief them on the current status of the farm bill in the U.S. Senate and to gather additional input from them as work continues to reauthorize farm programs. Hoeven serves on the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture. Participating in the event were members of the Stockmen’s Association, North Dakota Farm Bureau, Farmers Union, Grain Growers, and other leading agricultural producer groups.
Hoeven discussed the Revenue Loss Assistance and Crop Insurance Enhancement Act of 2012, bipartisan legislation that he and Senators Conrad and Max Baucus recently introduced to help maintain a critical safety net for North Dakota farmers and serve as a major component of a new Farm Bill. It helps maintain the safety net by:
- Replacing the Direct Payment Program and the Average Crop Revenue Election Program (ACRE) with a new Revenue Loss Assistance Program (RLAP) to address repetitive, shallow losses.
- Maintaining the countercyclical and marketing loan programs, while adding a supplemental coverage option along with other improvements to enhance crop insurance. The goal is to cover farmers in a more cost-effective manner when yield and/or prices decline.
- Extending the livestock disaster assistance programs permanently and SURE disaster assistance program for 2012 in order to transition to new safety net.
“As we prepare to write a new farm bill, it’s important to hear from producers who will actually rely on the safety net, which is why we’re here in Western North Dakota today,” Hoeven said. “Producers across our state have been telling us that good crop insurance is the foundation of a strong farm safety net and their number one priority. That’s just what we have worked to accomplish in this bipartisan legislation, which is a cost-effective approach that will enable us to save money to help reduce the deficit, while providing our farmers and ranchers with strong support.”
The legislation provides help for farmers who suffered losses on acres planted for harvest at a 65 percent payment rate. For acreage that was unable to be planted due to adverse weather, the payment rate is 45 percent. Total acreage covered under the program for a producer will not be able to exceed that producer’s total base acres.
The Revenue Loss Assistance and Crop Insurance Enhancement Act comes in response to feedback the senators received from North Dakota producers calling for new tools that build on the existing crop insurance program to deal with repetitive, shallow losses.