A Senate Agriculture subcommittee holds two hearings on the farm bill this week, while House members plan to keep getting input on the the legislation while back in their home districts.

The Senate panel will have a hearing Tuesday with commodity groups and then on Thursday will put a focus on credit and risk management.

Last week, a House Ag subcommittee held a hearing with 10 commodity groups. There was general agreement that the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs needed to be addressed, but significant disagreement over what should be done.  

During an event Friday with the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City, the top Republican on the Senate Ag Committee, John Boozman of Arkansas reiterated that he will not support a farm bill that doesn’t provide for an increase in reference prices, noting that the rates are now set on market conditions in 2012.

“The world is very different now than it was then. … There’s no reason to tie ourselves to data that is that old for the next five years," Boozman said.

Both the Senate and House Ag committees are assigning subcommittees to handle many of their farm bill hearings. 

Senate Ag's Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management and Trade is chaired by Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn. Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith is the ranking Republican. 

The House is not in session this week, but Ag Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., is staying on the road to join colleagues for farm bill listening sessions in their districts. On Monday, Thompson will join Rep. Tracey Mann, R-Kan., for a listening session at a farm near Salina. 

Thompson told Agri-Pulse he also has a speaking engagement in Idaho and also will join Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, R-Ore., for an event in her district.

Thompson said the feedback lawmakers are getting in the listening sessions are similar to what the committee has been hearing in Washington.

Last Thursday, Thompson also held a listening session for Republican House members who are not on the Ag Committee.

“It's making sure that we're bringing as many voices to the table as possible, and that's a pretty powerful tool to get it right,” Thompson said.

He said it was rewarding to hear how many House members are doing their own farm bill listening sessions. “That’s good. Let the farmers educate them. It’ll work better that way," he said. 

Also this week, EPA Administrator Michael Regan is back on Capitol Hill for a hearing this time with the Senate Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday. 

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Also this week, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, and the Environment and Public Works Committee will have a hearing on implementation of the latest Water Resources Development Act.

Here is a list of agriculture- or rural-related events scheduled for this week in Washington and elsewhere (all times EDT):

Monday, May 1

4 p.m. – USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report. 

Tuesday, May 2

9 a.m. – Senate Agriculture subcommittee hearing, ”Commodity Programs, Credit and Crop Insurance – Part 1: Producer Perspectives on the Farm Safety Net,” 106 Dirksen.  

9:30 a.m. – Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, 366 Dirksen.

2:45 p.m. – Senate Banking subcommittee hearing on rural housing legislation, 538 Dirksen.

Wednesday, May 3

10 a.m. – Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on implementation of the Water Resources Development Act of 2022, 406 Dirksen.

10 a.m. - Senate Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee hearing with EPA Administrator Michael Regan, 124 Dirksen.

Thursday, May 4

Animal Agriculture Alliance annual stakeholders summit, through Friday, Arlington, Virginia. 

8:30 a.m. – USDA releases Weekly Export Sales report.

10 a.m. – Senate Agriculture subcommittee hearing, “Commodity Programs, Credit and Crop Insurance – Part 2: Industry Perspectives on Risk Management and Access to Credit,” 216 Hart. 

Friday, May 5

UN Food and Agriculture Organization releases monthly Food Price Index.

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