Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.), who chairs the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation, indicated in a column yesterday at The Dickinson Press (N.D.) Online that, “This week, I am working with other members of the Senate Agriculture Committee to draft a five-year farm bill…[T]he farm bill I am working to draft will provide growers with the support they need to survive the tough years and thrive in the good ones. Specifically, the Senate draft of the farm bill authorizes a new commodity program called Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC).”
Sen. Heitkamp explained that, “This program will kick in when farmers lose money — from either yield losses or price collapse — to provide modest payments to help cover some of the losses they experience. It utilizes a market-oriented approach to adjust support when prices are high to keep pace with increased costs in inputs. It will also track with the market and pay growers on historical production to prevent the policy from influencing planting decisions. ARC will work in concert with the Federal Crop Insurance Program to allow growers to mitigate the variety of risks they face each year.
“As the risks pile up for American growers, it is critical our nation strengthens its commitment to a strong domestic agricultural economy. American farmers are some of the most efficient and productive farmers in the world, which is why the American agricultural system is the envy of the world. But in order for that to remain the case, we need to continue to make modest investments to the farm safety net to support farmers in North Dakota and throughout the country.”