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Bringing a Hoosier voice to the farm bill debate

Indiana’s Democratic Senator says he’s bringing Hoosier commonsense to the farm bill debate.  “Because there is more wisdom here than in Washington, DC,” says Senate Ag Committee member Joe Donnelly.  “The best way to write a farm bill is to be right here on the farm with everybody who has to live with it every day.”

Donnelly met with leaders from the Indiana Corn Growers Association and Indiana Soybean Alliance as well as local farmers as part of his Farm Bill Listening Tour.

He says Indiana farmers tell him crop insurance is one of their top priorities.  “The challenges of pricing right now and trying to make sure that we are able to have a good risk-protection system in place is critically important,” he says.

AUDIO: Joe Donnelly, Indiana Senator, Senate Ag Committee

Northeast Indiana farmer Sarah Delbecq says this farm bill will be completed in a different farm economy – and there are several issues that need to be revisited.  “What’s this farm bill going to look like in terms of adjusting some of the parameters,” she says.  “Whether it’s reference prices on PLC or it’s the way data is used to calculate county yields for ARC.”

AUDIO: Sarah Delbecq, Indiana Corn Growers Association vice-president

Donnelly says trade also remains a concern and he tells Brownfield he’ll work to make sure markets are open to US products.  “So much of our product goes overseas,” he says.  “It’s the highest quality product in the world and when it’s available people always want it.  So we have to make sure for our opportunity for our products to be shipped world-wide is there.”

Donnelly met with farmers at Steinbarger Farms – about an hour south of Indianapolis on Tuesday.

The first Senate Farm Bill field hearing is this Thursday in Kansas.

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