Hoeven: Senate Agriculture Bill Provides Both Good Support For Farmers and Deficit Reduction

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today said the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee’s 2012 Farm Bill has the safety net farmers and ranchers need to continue feeding and fueling our nation, while saving $23 billion to help address the country’s budget deficit. The measure was passed out of committee today by a vote of 16 to 5.

“Good farm policy benefits every single American in this country,” Hoeven said. “The bill we passed out of committee today will strengthen our farm sector and support North Dakota priorities, while saving dollars and helping to reduce the nation’s deficit. The bill includes a strong farm safety net, cutting-edge research and ag-based energy initiatives that will help our producers continue to provide the lowest cost, highest quality food, fiber and fuel in the world.”

Senator Hoeven worked on the Agriculture Committee to advance the following North Dakota priorities:

  • A strong farm safety net that enhances crop insurance and, which is the number-one priority for farmers and ranchers.
  • A farm level shallow loss program, which is critical to states, like North Dakota, with large counties. Senator Hoeven worked with Senators Conrad and Baucus to improve the regional equity of farm programs to ensure they work for North Dakota farmers who face exposure to yield losses. This bipartisan amendment, which was adopted by the full committee, provides producers the option for either farm level or county level coverage.
  • Continuation of the no-cost sugar program.
  • Continuation of livestock assistance programs for ranchers.
  • Along with Senators Conrad and Lugar, Hoeven cosponsored and helped secure an energy amendment that provides $800 million for renewable energy projects that advance cellulosic ethanol and blender pumps.
  • Senator Hoeven helped secure the Terminal Lakes Assistance program authorizing a voluntary land purchase program that helps landowners impacted by flooding in the Devils Lake Basin.
  • The bill includes key North Dakota research critical to land grant universities like North Dakota State University.