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A strong farm safety net and markets are needed for farmer success

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says there are many areas lawmakers could expand crop insurance coverage in the new farm bill.

“More products and more crops being covered,” says Vilsack. “Not everything that’s grown or raised in this country has the same level or opportunity. We’ve had 12 new products and several modifications to existing policies. I think we need to continue to do that.”

In a Senate Ag Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, Vilsack said there are mixed signals coming from Capitol Hill on adjustments to crop insurance in the new farm bill, some want to increase funding so farmers pay less for coverage and others want to reduce spending, and lawmakers need to be more consistent in their approach. Ranking member John Hoeven from North Dakota responded.

“Crop insurance, the safety net, access to credit, beginning farmer programs and livestock programs, we want to make more consistent and dependable.”

Vilsack cautioned lawmakers it will take more than updates to the farm safety net to help keep farmers in business. He said strong markets are needed, too.

Senator Hoeven is a co-sponsor of the Federal Ag Risk Management Enhancement and Resilience Act, recently introduced legislation to be included in the new farm bill that’s meant to increase premium crop insurance support for farmers. Watch the hearing.

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