According to a North Dakota agricultural groups spokesperson, as the groups ready themselves for federal spending cutbacks, the next federal farm bill’s top priorities should be crop insurance, export promotion, and research.
State director for U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Shane Goettle, explained that there will be fewer resources with which to work. He added that it is very important that they keep a steady communication regarding the farm bill’s priority as they will be responsible for deciding what will need to be cut and what must be maintained.
Goettle spoke with representatives for Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) at a forum that was called by the agriculture commissioner of North Dakota, Doug Goehring, to address the future of federal farm legislation.
A comprehensive farm bill is generally approved by congress every five years. The last legislation to receive approval was in 2008.
Goehring stated that it was very important to hold this discussion as a result of the recent approval by congress for a budget legislation that would give authority to a lawmaker “super committee” that would make recommendations for federal spending cuts of a minimum of $1.5 trillion over the next decade.
This committee will be responsible for offering its budget legislation before mid November. According to Goehring, North Dakota farmers find it very important to announce their federal agriculture spending priorities well ahead of that time.
There are a number of crop insurance priorities offered by the U.S. Agriculture Department, which provide farmers with compensation should their crops suffer as a result of pests, drought, excessive rain and flooding, disease, and other issues. Among the 60 forum attendees, several of the speakers stated that it was vital that the federal government maintain its crop insurance and that it be improved throughout the coming years.