A new farm bill might look much different than the current farm bill and that’s alright with Sen. Mike Johanns.
Times are good down on the farm right now. Crop prices are high, driving up the value of farmland to unprecedented heights. Livestock producers, especially beef producers, have seen some strong year.
Johanns, a former Agriculture Secretary, says Congress needs to provide farmers the tools they need to remain profitable. He says Nebraska farmers have told him they are willing to give up direct payments in exchange for help to manage risks. Johanns says crop insurance remains a big concern and is his top priority going into debate on the farm bill.
The senator says strong markets and using crop insurance to manage risks should keep farming profitable.
“Well, I always worry. I grew up on a farm and I had a lot of my classmates who farmed who did not survive the 80’s. So, I see land prices, I do think there is risk out there,” Johanns says. “But, I also see a pretty strong marketplace.”
The United States Senate should have the experience it needs to fashion a new farm bill. Six of the members of the Senate Agriculture Committee have been chairmen at one time. Johanns has managed the United States Department of Agriculture.
Johanns hopes the Senate begins debate on the farm bill by late spring or early summer.