Hoeven: Enhancing Farm Safety Net, Producer-Friendly Programs Central to Farm Bill Negotiations

Senator Addresses ND Grain Dealers Association Annual Convention

FARGO, N.D. – At the North Dakota Grain Dealers Association Annual Convention today, Senator John Hoeven discussed key priorities that he is working to include in the next Farm Bill. As a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has been gathering input from North Dakota producers and working to secure enhancements for the nation’s farm policy, including:

  • Maintaining and strengthening crop insurance, the primary risk management tool for many producers.
    • Improving the affordability of higher levels of coverage will better enable producers to weather natural disasters and reduce the need for ad-hoc disaster assistance.
  • Updating and improving the counter-cyclical safety net, including the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs.
    • Hoeven stated that reference prices need to reflect market realities and the cost of production that farmers are currently facing.
  • Supporting export promotion programs, which help open and develop new global markets for producers.
  • Ensuring adequate access to credit by passing his legislation to modernize Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan limits as part of the Farm Bill.
  • Making sure programs are voluntary and farmer-friendly, instead of one-size-fits-all, to reduce the regulatory burden on producers.

Hoeven also remains committed to ensuring producers and agri-businesses have access to reliable transportation services, including by rail. This builds upon his efforts last year with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and rail companies to resolve rail service disruptions.

“It’s important that we’ve provided certainty to producers by passing an extension of the current Farm Bill, but we have to keep our foot on the gas to pass the strongest legislation possible to ensure good farm policy,” said Hoeven. “That means enhancing crop insurance and updating reference prices in the farm safety net. At the same time, we should invest in programs that help producers access new markets. These efforts are all about keeping the farm in the Farm Bill, so our producers can continue providing the highest-quality, lowest-cost food supply in the world.”

Today’s meeting comes as part of Hoeven’s ongoing efforts to provide North Dakota farmers and ranchers with the opportunity to give direct feedback as work continues on the next farm bill. To this end, the senator continues to meet with local producers and has organized meetings between North Dakotans and key officials in recent months, including:

  • Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman.
  • FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux.
  • Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator Marcia Bunger.
  • U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Deputy Chief Chris French.