Hoeven Holds Farm Bill Roundtable with ND Producers

Outlines Drought and Regulatory Relief for Farmers and Ranchers

DICKINSON, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today held a roundtable with producers to gather input as work continues on the next Farm Bill. The senator also outlined recently passed provisions to reduce burdensome regulations on farmers and ranchers and additional assistance to help producers impacted by severe drought.

“Agriculture remains our state’s top industry, which is why we’re working to provide our farmers and ranchers with the support they need to succeed and overcome challenges from low commodity prices to Mother Nature,” said Hoeven. “We’ve worked to provide additional assistance to help them recover losses and costs incurred during the drought. We’ve also worked to provide regulatory relief from burdensome EPA rules that don’t work in the real world, like methane emissions reporting requirements and livestock transportation rules. With work continuing on the next farm bill, we appreciate the input of our farmers and ranchers so we can pass the best farm bill possible.”

Farm Bill Priorities 

Hoeven outlined his priorities for the upcoming farm bill, including: 

  • Strong Crop Insurance – The senator is working to strengthen and prevent cuts to the crop insurance program, which is the primary risk management tool for many producers. 
  • Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) – Hoeven secured funding for a pilot program in both Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018 to improve the fairness of ARC payment calculations, while exploring long-term solutions to the problem for the next farm bill. USDA implemented Hoeven’s pilot program in January for 14 counties in seven states, including Divide and Sheridan counties in North Dakota.
  • Agriculture Research – Hoeven will work to include strong support for agricultural research, like the work done at North Dakota State University and the North Dakota Extension Service, to enhance crop genetics and production.
  • Rural Development – The senator is advancing efforts to invest in rural infrastructure, including water, electric and broadband services, which will help rural communities and residents compete in the global economy.

Drought Resources 

Hoeven continues working to secure all possible support for farmers and ranchers to help them recover from the drought. As chairman of Agriculture Appropriations, the senator secured the following drought provisions in the supplemental funding bill to make additional resources available for impacted producers under ELAP and LIP. 

  • Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish program (ELAP) – Made additional ELAP funding available to assist producers for activities, including transporting hay and livestock, during the drought.
  • Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) – Enables producers, who were forced to sell their livestock due to drought or other weather-related conditions, to receive LIP payment for their losses and removes payment limitations currently capped at $125,000. The provision is retroactive to January 1, 2017. 

Regulatory Relief 

The senator is working to provide regulatory relief for the nation’s farmers and ranchers. In addition to defunding and rolling back the onerous Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, Hoeven recently secured the following provisions:

  • Livestock Emissions – Hoeven helped introduce and pass the FARM Act, which protects farmers and ranchers from being required to measure methane emissions from livestock in pastures. The legislation was passed as part of the FY2018 funding legislation and ensures that agriculture producers will be permanently exempt from burdensome EPA reporting requirements for animal waste emissions.
  • Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) – The senator also secured a provision to delay the ELD requirement for livestock haulers through September 30. Hoeven continues his efforts to find a permanent solution that maintains the safe, efficient and humane transportation of livestock.