Press Releases

Subcommittee examines the implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill

f t # e
Washington, DC, March 26, 2015 | comments

Washington, D.C. - Today, Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management held a public hearing to examine implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill.

The Farm Bill was signed into law on February 7, 2014. The legislation both modernized and strengthened the safety net for farmers. By next week, most farmers will have made the choices available under the Farm Bill. Chairman Crawford generally praised Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator Brandon Willis and Farm Service Agency Administrator Val Dolcini for their hard work while also asking for assistance in resolving a few remaining implementation issues.

“While the 2014 farm bill was drafted during a period of record-high prices, producers are now experiencing a staggering 43 percent drop in net farm income,” Crawford said. “Current conditions are going to test the Farm Bill and its ability to mitigate and respond to growing financial stress in farm country. I firmly believe that the situation calls for the Farm Bill to be implemented in the most farmer-friendly manner possible within the limits of the law.”

Chairman Crawford cited the need for action by the Department to address the collapse in cotton prices due to actions taken by the Chinese government, stating, “USDA has the authority to address an issue that is making the marketing of cotton extremely difficult for cooperatives and marketing pools at a time when the markets are already beating them down.”  The Chairman called newly proposed “actively engaged” regulations "arbitrary and capricious," noting that the regulation "ignores the remarkable diversity and complexity in agriculture today."  And, the Chairman called on RMA Administrator Willis to ensure that margin coverage being developed works for rice growers. 

Full Committee Chairman Rep. K. Michael Conaway praised Subcommittee Chairman Crawford’s dedication to working on behalf of farmers and ranchers and echoed Crawford’s call for action by USDA.

“As you know, I chaired the subcommittee with jurisdiction over commodity programs and crop insurance for a number of years, and I cannot think of a better successor than Congressman Crawford,” Conaway said.  “I know he cares deeply about the policies under the jurisdiction of this subcommittee and the farmers and ranchers these policies are designed to serve. While the farm bill was designed for our current scenario of low commodity prices, I know everyone is concerned. I will work closely with Congressman Crawford and the administration to make sure this Farm Bill serves our farmers and ranchers during these tough times.”

f t # e