Hoeven: Senate Farm Bill Includes Important Provisions for North Dakota Producers
Legislation Includes Hoeven Provisions to Ensure Farm Safety Net, Strengthen ARC Program
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today announced that the Senate Agriculture Committee has released text of the Senate farm bill. Hoeven worked to include North Dakota priorities in the bill, including strengthening crop insurance, providing greater fairness in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program and supporting agriculture research. The Senate Agriculture Committee is scheduled to markup the legislation on June 13.
“We continue working to put in place the strongest possible farm bill for our producers,” said Hoeven. “We worked hard to ensure that the Senate’s draft farm bill supports our priorities, including strong crop insurance and improving the counter-cyclical safety net, supporting agriculture research and ensuring that farm country has the tools they need to succeed. We look forward to marking up this legislation next week in the committee so we can get the farm bill to the Senate floor as soon as possible.”
Senator Hoeven secured the following priorities in the draft farm bill:
- Strong Crop Insurance – Strengthens the crop insurance program, which is the primary risk management tool for many producers.
- Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) – Hoeven is working to ensure that both programs work for producers and provide additional flexibility. To improve the ARC program, the bill prioritizes Risk Management Agency (RMA) data over National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) data to determine yields. This follows the Hoeven pilot program to improve the fairness of ARC payment calculations. USDA implemented Hoeven’s pilot program in January for 14 counties in seven states, including Divide and Sheridan counties in North Dakota.
- Sugar Policy – Extends the sugar policy in a bipartisan manner, ensuring that American producers have a level playing field in the world sugar market.
- Agriculture Research – Provides 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.
- Water Bank Program – Increases the authorization for the Hoeven Water Bank Program to $5 million. As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has worked to fund the program, which provides compensation for farmers and landowners for flooded land through 10-year, voluntary conservation agreements.
- Increasing Markets for Agriculture – Helps to create, expand and maintain foreign markets for U.S. agriculture products. The bill consolidates the Market Access Program (MAP), Foreign Market Development (FMD), Emerging Market Program (EMP) and the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) under one export umbrella to provide producers with continued access to export programs.
- Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank – Authorizes a new Animal Disease and Disaster Response Program and Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine bank, which Hoeven has advocated for, to help address risks to animal health, livestock export markets and industry economic stability.
- Addressing Substance Abuse in Rural Communities – Includes legislation Hoeven is sponsoring with Senator Joe Donnelly to help rural communities combat the opioid abuse epidemic. The legislation directs the USDA Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program to give priority to applicants in rural communities that would use the grants for substance abuse education, treatment and prevention efforts.
- CROPS for Indian Country Act – Includes Hoeven’s Cultivating Resources, Opportunities, Prosperity and Sustainability (CROPS) for Indian Country Act, bipartisan legislation that would strengthen tribal self-governance for USDA programs and promote agribusiness and rural development opportunities for Native American farmers, ranchers and communities.
The senator has been working to craft a strong farm bill for North Dakota producers. He hosted USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue in North Dakota to hear directly from the state’s producers about their priorities for the farm bill and has also gathered input from the state’s farmers and ranchers at roundtable meetings.
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