Hoeven to Perdue: Ensure Strong Farm Safety Net

Senator Secures Ag Secretary Perdue’s Support for Maintaining and Opening Ag Markets

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today secured a commitment from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to maintain and open agriculture markets for U.S. producers and to prioritize a strong farm safety net as work continues on the next farm bill. 

“We appreciate Secretary Perdue’s support for our nation’s farmers and ranchers and his commitment to keep a strong farm safety net to help farmers and ranchers overcome challenges,” said Hoeven. “We also continue pressing the Secretary to maintain and keep markets open for our farmers and ranchers. Agriculture remains one of America’s net export industries due to open trade and we must continue to provide free and fair trade for our producers.” 

At the hearing, Hoeven outlined priorities, including:

  • Countercyclical Safety Net – Hoeven worked to include funding in FY17 and FY18 for an Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) pilot program to allow for an alternate calculation method for crop payments when NASS data is insufficient. Hoeven urged Perdue to use the pilot program to ensure that the ARC and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs work for farmers and ranchers.
  • Crop Insurance – The senator pressed Perdue to support strong crop insurance, which is the primary risk management tool for many producers. 
    • Prevented Plant – Hoeven has encouraged USDA to support the prevented planting crop insurance program administered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA), which is an effective risk management tool for farmers in North Dakota.  
  • Agriculture Trade – Hoeven pressed the Secretary to help keep markets open for farmers and ranchers and prevent retaliatory tariffs. 
  • Agriculture Research – the Senator outlined the importance of agriculture research in ensuring our country’s ability to compete internationally and meet the demands of a growing global population.
  • Capital for Farmers and Ranchers – Hoeven also encouraged support for his legislation to provide farmers with better access to capital. The bill would increase the Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan guarantee amount from $1.39 million to $2.5 million and double the amount of direct loans from $300,000 to $600,000 for both farm operating loans and farm ownership loans.