Farmers and ag officials weigh in on farm bill at field hearing

May 10, 2017

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Farmers and ag officials on hand for the Senate Agriculture Committee’s farm bill field hearing held in Michigan Saturday demanded more investment in international development, better crop insurance and a steady agricultural workforce.

As Politico reports, Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts made it clear that when they develop the 2018 farm bill, lawmakers will be forced to “do more with less.”

The Kansas Senator said while he would like to increase funding for the farm bill, lawmakers will need to find ways to save money.

Some panelists at the hearing listed crop insurance as a top reason why their farms are viable and ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow noted that her staff is working with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to make milk eligible for crop insurance as a separate commodity from livestock, to give dairy farmers more options.

Several farmers said the Conservation Reserve Program and Environmental Quality Incentives cost-shares have helped them plant cover crops that prevent soil erosion and improve water quality.