Senator Hoeven discusses Farm Bill and trade in Dickinson

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“Nobody does agriculture better than North Dakota,” that was what U.S. Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota said Wednesday morning at a Farm Bill Roundtable in Dickinson.

Soon after that, trade became the main topic of discussion.

“We are concerned that in this trade negotiation that we don’t end up with tariffs on our ag exports,” said Sen. Hoeven, who is the Chairman of the Senate Agricultural Appropriations Committee.

Talk on the trade war between China and the United Staes started right away.

It has been reported that any U.S. tariffs won’t take effect before the end of May, after a period for public comment.

Sen. Hoeven urged agricultural producers to take advantage of the comment period, but cattle producers were concerned with the border trade negotiations.

“As they renegotiate NAFTA, hopefully beef will be treated more fairly, so it will be better for us. We don’t get that flood of product coming across our border, which drops our price all the time,” said Dwight Keller, President of the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota.

When the discussion shifted to the upcoming Farm Bill, he informed the producers that his committee has worked to provide ag producers with regulatory relief from troublesome EPA rules, such as, livestock emissions reporting requirements and transportation rules (Electronic Logging Devices).

He also said that one his main priorities in the upcoming Bill is to strengthen and prevent cuts to the crop insurance program.

Earlier this year is was reported the Trump Administration was exploring cutting the program by $26 billion over the next decade.

“There were some reductions to crop insurance that were proposed, but through the ag approps process we made sure they were not put into place. Crop insurance is our #1 priority, so we are making sure we fully fund it,” said Sen. Hoeven.

The Senator ended the day’s discussion by saying he would like to see the Farm Bill on the Senate floor sometime this Summer.

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