Hyde-Smith Subcommittee Conducts Second Farm Bill Hearing on Risk Management

060423 Ag Hearing Commodities 
VIDEO CLIP:  Senator Hyde-Smith on Agricultural Producers’ Access to Affordable and Flexible Credit Options.
VIDEO:  Senator Hyde-Smith Questions Witnesses.
VIDEO:  Senator Hyde-Smith’s Opening Statement.
TEXT:  Senator Hyde-Smith’s Opening Statement.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today stressed the need for the 2023 Farm Bill to include strong risk management and credit provisions to ensure the success of U.S. agricultural production.

Hyde-Smith, ranking member of the Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade Subcommittee, on Thursday helped lead Part Two of a hearing on Commodity Programs, Credit, and Crop Insurance.  The Thursday hearing focused on industry perspectives regarding the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP) and access to agricultural credit.

“The private sector is the cornerstone in the delivery system of crucial risk management tools and credit options,” Hyde-Smith said.  “Farmers face many challenges in managing risk and securing credit.  As we heard from our producers on Tuesday, market fluctuations and rising input costs significantly affect their ability to run a business and stay afloat.”

Hyde-Smith also cited transportation disruptions, labor shortages, wage escalation, and inflation as factors contributing to the need for farmers and ranchers to have access to adequate credit.

“These challenges have highlighted the importance of risk management and credit in the agricultural industry.  With increased uncertainty and volatility in the marketplace, we must ensure our farmers and ranchers have access to the necessary tools and resources to manage risk effectively,” Hyde-Smith said.  “Similarly, in light of inflation, it is more important than ever for agricultural producers to have access to affordable and flexible credit options.”

The hearing featured testimony from rural lenders, bankers, crop insurance agents and approved insurance providers, including Phillip Morgan of Ridgeland and William Cole of Batesville.  Morgan provided testimony on behalf of the Farm Credit Council, while Cole testified on behalf of the Crop Insurance Professionals Association.

Part One of the hearing on Tuesday, which focused on producer perspectives on the farm safety net, included testimony from Patrick Johnson of Tunica, representing the National Cotton Council

Both meetings were the latest conducted by the Senate Agriculture Committee as it works to craft a new five-year farm bill to authorize USDA agricultural, rural development, forestry, and nutrition programs through 2028.  The 2018 Farm Bill expires on Sept. 30, 2023.