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Senator says regulatory relief is needed to address inflation  

U.S. Senator Rob Portman says regulatory relief is needed to address inflation and supply chain challenges in agriculture.

“We have to do things here in Washington to get the economy back on track in a healthy way, meaning keeping inflation low but having the economy grow,” he says. “To me that’s regulatory reform and regulatory relief, that’s what worked before the pandemic, and not raising taxes. In fact, lowering some taxes that eat into people’s ability to make a profit and to make these farms successful. We’re in a tough period right now because although the administration said this inflation was going to be transitory, meaning it wouldn’t last long, it looks like it’s going to be with us for awhile.”

The Ohio Republican says inflation has been particularly difficult on farmers.

“Inputs like fertilizer have gone up even faster than other inflation. We’ve got some farmland in Warren County and our fertilizer costs have doubled and that’s not unusual,” he says. “Farmers use a lot of fuel so that’s been a big issue and equipment and finding parts. It’s not just the cost of the part, it’s how long it takes to get it. If you have a tractor down for several weeks when you’re waiting for a part, that’s a real problem for farmers. There’s a lot of cross-cutting issues right now. The price for corn and soybeans is pretty good and steady, but it doesn’t make up for some of the effects of inflation.”  

Portman, who is not seeking reelection, says it’s been an honor to serve Ohio.

“It is a great, diverse state. We have everything from big manufacturing to big cities to big agriculture. Sometimes people forget that Ohio is one of the top ag states in the country,” he says. “Sometimes we are viewed more as a Midwestern manufacturing state and we’re that too, but we have great agriculture and it’s the number one part of our economy. It’s the largest industry in Ohio. It’s $100 billion a year and about one out of every seven Ohioan is engaged in agriculture. I have a son in agriculture and he’s in the technical side of some of the cutting-edge stuff on bioscience, dealing with vertical farming for vegetables. Ohio is on the cutting-edge on a number of things and we’ve got some of the best research, and some of the best new ideas in agriculture come from Ohio as well. I’m proud of our state.”

Brownfield interviewed Portman during the Ohio Farm Bureau Washington D.C. Leadership Experience. 

Audio: Rob Portman  

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