This week’s Open Mic guest is Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. As a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and ranking member on the agriculture subcommittee, the former governor of North Dakota has led a bipartisan effort to bring financial relief to drought-stricken farmers and ranchers in his state. He’s counting on additional short-term assistance from the USDA and is hopeful the budget process will deliver much-needed resources before the end of the year. Hoeven is concerned over the price tag and tax provisions included in the Majority’s budget reconciliation proposal and hopes those concerns are shared by Moderate Democrats on Capitol Hill.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Michael Crowder, president of the National Association of Conservation Districts. For more than 75 years, farmers and ranchers have partnered with NACD to employ soil conservation practices to preserve natural resources and improve the productivity of their land. Today, conservation is seen as a means to mitigate the impact of climate change and help farmers sustainably produce food, fiber and fuel for the nation. Crowder says NACD is pleased to see additional funds directed toward existing conservation programs that are currently underfunded. He says additional funds for technical assistance will help producers engage more land in conservation stewardship practices. NACD has developed 2023 farm bill principles that they will continue to refine as work increases toward approving a new farm bill next year.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Nicole Berg, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers. The nation’s wheat farmers have two primary objectives for new farm programs including defending risk protection programs and a boost in baseline spending. The Washington wheat grower says the $5.50 reference price is below the cost of production for most wheat growers and must be addressed in the 2023 farm bill. Berg says wheat farmers share concerns about the availability of inputs for the new crop year and question the EPA’s increased scrutiny of important crop protection products critical to the outcome of environmental and production goals. Wheat growers question the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s endorsement of breaching dams on the Snake River.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Adam Putnam, CEO of Ducks Unlimited. The sportsman community has played an influential role in securing farm policy on Capitol Hill and continues to engage. As a former ag commissioner in his home state of Florida and 10 year member of Congress, Putnam understands and supports voluntary conservation programs that enhance the ability for farmers and ranchers to pursue environmental stewardship and productivity while employing science-based tools. Ducks Unlimited supports farming practices across North America and says their sustainability goals align well with both farmers and businesses looking to improve their environmental track record and address climate change.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Chris Edgington, president of the National Corn Growers Association. Several hundred corn grower leaders were in Washington recently to discuss policy and meet with members of Congress. Edgington says ethanol and the Next Generation Fuels Act are at the top of the agenda for him and other farmers. Farmers are also concerned about the availability of inputs for the next year’s crop as well as regulatory actions that would limit the use of crop protection products or restrict land use. Edgington says corn growers are participating in farm bill listening sessions and are keenly concerned with potential changes to Title 1 programs and crop insurance.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Steve Censky, CEO of the American Soybean Association. Over 200 soy farmers and industry leaders were in Washington for their summer board meeting and visits with leaders on Capitol Hill. The 2023 farm bill was at the top of issues that included land and water regulations, crop protection products, the rail industry and labor issues. Censky says soy leaders may have real concerns about any shift in farm programs to margin coverage instead of revenue or reference prices.