North Dakota’s Senators on the upcoming Farm Bill
WILLISTON, N.D. (KUMV) - The U.S. Farm Bill is up for renewal. Congress is trying to improve upon the current legislation, which was signed into law nearly five years ago.
It’s a very large piece of legislation, made up of 12 different titles covering everything from commodity and conservation programs to the SNAP program. This impacts farmers throughout the state, making it a very important bill for Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer.
Since the start of the year, Hoeven and Cramer have met with farmers, ranchers and advocacy groups to hear their priorities on what should be on the 2023 Farm Bill. Hoeven says the biggest focus is to make sure they support protection programs like crop insurance.
“We use it more than any state in the nation, so that’s critically important, and the counter-cyclical safety net, and making sure there’s more competition and price transparency for our cattle producers so they can get better prices,” said Hoeven.
A large portion of the Farm Bill also includes nutrition programs, like SNAP and school lunches. Cramer says they need to make sure ag program improvements get as much attention as the rest.
“We are going to have to wrestle a little bit with some of our colleagues to make sure that the farmer doesn’t get shorted while we increase these other protections,” said Cramer.
Both senators say they also want to remove red tape and increase reference prices for commodities.
The bill expires on September 30, and both senators say an extension is very likely.
Cramer says he believes they can get it done by the holidays, while Hoeven said he sees this going into next year. That could make things difficult for farmers looking to choose programs to sign up for before planting season.
The 2018 Farm Bill also missed the September deadline and was signed in December of that year.
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