Commodities & Risk Management Ranking Member Says Plan Holds Key to Modernized Agriculture Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today commended the unveiling of a Republican-led Farm Bill framework that she says should propel the Senate toward completing legislation that meets the modern challenges facing farmers, ranchers, and stakeholders across the country.

Hyde-Smith, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade, commended Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-Ark.) for drafting the comprehensive framework released Tuesday. 

“It’s past time to act and move past the outdated 2018 Farm Bill.  The framework offered by Senator Boozman should help move our committee toward completing a new Farm Bill this year, one that is bipartisan and fiscally responsible,” Hyde-Smith said.

“The framework recommends important reforms to help American farmers and ranchers handle declining incomes, market volatility, historic inflation, record-high input costs, catastrophic natural disasters, animal disease outbreaks, and global tensions,” the Senator added.  “Overall, it provides answers to so many of the recommendations we’ve heard in hearings over the past few years to put more ‘farm’ in the Farm Bill.”

The commodities and risk management subcommittee oversees matters regarding production agriculture, including commodity programs, crop insurance, commodity exchanges, agriculture trade, international food assistance, and credit.

Hyde-Smith credited the Boozman framework for its attention to creating an environment that encourages more young Americans to take up farming and ranching as a career.

“There are a lot of barriers that keep many young people from becoming farmers and ranchers.  The risk management and other changes we recommend in this framework are intended to lower those barriers because we certainly need to ensure new generations of producers can succeed,” Hyde-Smith said.  

Some of the recommendations within the commodities, risk management, and trade area of the Republican Farm Bill framework include:

  • Maintaining producer access to both Title I programs and crop insurance risk management tools. 
  • Modernizing statutory reference prices for all covered commodities and enhancing both the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program.
  • Improving the marketing assistance loan program through higher loan rates that enhance the ability to meet financing needs after harvesting a crop.
  • Updating the safety net by allowing farmers without base acres to establish base and creating a mechanism to continue bringing new and beginning farmers into the safety net for years to come.
  • Making crop insurance more affordable for beginning farmers and ranchers while providing the first-ever risk management tool for poultry growers.
  • Increasing the limitation for the Down Payment Loan Program to align with current Farm Service Agency direct farm ownership loan limitations, removing a financial hurdle for young and beginning farmers.
  • Expanding access to all standing disaster programs for those who raise livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish.
  • Improving crop insurance coverage and affordability.
  • Giving producers a seat at the table when crop insurance decisions are made at USDA and modernizing the crop insurance delivery system for farmers and ranchers.
  • Doubling funding for the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program to strengthen trade promotion of U.S. agriculture products.
  • Increasing farm ownership and operating loan limits to meet the demands facing today’s producers and changing the inflation benchmark for guaranteed ownership loans to more accurately track land values.
  • Ensuring U.S. commodities make up at least half of the support provided under Food for Peace.  

Read a short, title-by-title summary of the overall Republican framework here.