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Nebraska lawmaker gathers input on next farm bill

Nebraska 3rd District Representative Adrian Smith (right) held a farm bill listening session in Aurora, Nebraska. He was joined by Nebraska director of agriculture Greg Ibach.

During the Congressional Easter recess, many farm-state lawmakers have been meeting with constituents to discuss the next farm bill.

Nebraska Third District Congressman Adrian Smith held farm bill listening sessions this week in Scottsbluff and Aurora.

“If there’s one thing I’ve taken away from the meetings is that crop insurance has been working and we want to keep that in mind,” Smith says.

Jordan Dux, director of national affairs with Nebraska Farm Bureau attended the Aurora meeting. Dux says they want to see Congress address county-to-county disparities in the ARC program.

“Whether it’s a data issue or whether we need to take a look at broadening what county area we look at, if it’s moved from a county to a crop reporting district, whatever that may be,” says Dux.

Farmer Lynn Chrisp of Hastings, who serves on the National Corn Growers Association board of directors, says he hopes agriculture can hold its own in the next farm bill.

“With our national debt being what it is, nobody’s kidding themselves about there being extra dollars around for budgetary considerations,” says Chrisp. “But the thing going into negotiations this time that we didn’t have five years ago is that ARC-County has paid out three years in row now. It’s widely known that producers are working at breakeven or just a little bit better, depending on how they’ve managed to market their crops. Negotiating support in this kind of environment is a whole lot easier than it is when things are good and people are wondering, ‘Why in the world are you talking about federal farm program supports?’”

AUDIO: Rep. Adrian Smith

 

AUDIO: Jordan Dux

 

AUDIO: Lynn Chrisp

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