Hoeven Hosts Roundtable to Discuss Farm Bill Priorities Ahead of Conference Committee
Senate and House Versions Have Much in Common
BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today hosted a farm bill roundtable at Bismarck State College to gather input from agriculture association leaders and discuss the priorities the senator will work on as a member of the joint Senate-House conference committee.
The new legislation in both the Senate and the House versions focuses on enhanced crop insurance. The measure includes a new Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), continues the sugar program and provides new Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) to help producers through years of repetitive losses. The Senate bill saves $24 billion to help reduce the deficit and debt.
The most challenging issue to resolve is determining appropriate reforms in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The conference will also need to identify the right reference price levels and reasonable ways to determine crop insurance coverage in the Price Protection and Revenue programs. Another issue to resolve between the bills is conservation compliance. Hoeven worked to decouple crop insurance from conservation compliance, and will continue to work to do that in the conference committee.
“Our number one priority is to pass a strong, long-term farm bill that will provide producers with the market-based safety net they need to deal with volatile markets and weather, while ensuring that American consumers continue to enjoy the highest quality, lowest cost food supply in the world,” Hoeven said. “A strong farm bill benefits every American – consumers and producers, the 16 million Americans who work in the ag sector and the American economy.”
Hoeven is a member of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture. He worked successfully to pass farm bills in both the current session of Congress and last. Leadership named him to serve on the upcoming conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate farm bills.
KEY BENEFITS OF THE SENATE AGRICULTURE REFORM, FOOD AND JOBS ACT OF 2013
The farm bill is a jobs creator and helps the economy
Hoeven said the legislation provides support for 16 million jobs in the food and agriculture sector, and contributes billions of dollars to the national economy. Agriculture has a positive balance of trade, and produces a financial surplus for the country.
The farm bill saves money to help reduce the deficit and debt
The 2013 Senate farm bill provides more than $24 billion in savings to help address the nation’s deficit and debt.
The farm bill provides a strong, market-based safety net for producers
Hoeven underscored that the safety net in the farm bill is focused on enhanced crop insurance. The legislation enhances crop insurance with the inclusion of the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO). The SCO enables producers to purchase a supplemental policy beyond their individual farm-based policy.
In addition, the bill features a new Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program that covers assistance for multiple-year losses. The program works with crop insurance by covering between 78 and 88 percent of a producer’s historic five-year average revenues based on price and yield.
The farm bill continues the sugar program
Hoeven worked hard to ensure that the farm bill continues the sugar program. The provision ensures that American producers have a level playing field in the world sugar market.
The farm bill strengthens national security
The bill also strengthens national security. Our nation does not have to depend for our food supply on other countries, countries that do not necessarily share our interests or values, and that makes all of us safer.
The farm bill levels the playing field for corn growers
The final Senate package includes a Hoeven amendment to address low test weight issues for corn growers, enabling them to get actual market price for their crop by extending the 60-day window for settling claims to 120 days.
The farm bill includes rural water management and flood protection
The legislation includes a Klobuchar-Hoeven-Heitkamp amendment to support flood protection in the Red River Valley, as well as other conservation, agricultural research, rural development and energy programs.
Hoeven leads effort to address critical conservation compliance mandates
He also introduced amendments to improve conservation compliance rules for farmers, as well as another measure to simplify and clarify Risk Management rules for Prevented Plant. The senator said he will continue to push these amendments as a member of the conference committee.
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