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Farm bill boosts next-gen farmer support

Farm bill boosts next-gen farmer support

By Scout Nelson

At a recent Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, Senator John Hoeven emphasized the importance of aiding beginning farmers and ranchers. He spotlighted provisions from the upcoming farm bill aimed at enhancing their success and longevity in agriculture.

Key among Hoeven's initiatives are the Federal Agriculture Risk Management Enhancement and Resilience (FARMER) Act and the Producer and Agricultural Credit Enhancement (PACE) Act. The FARMER Act proposes to make crop insurance more affordable and efficient, especially for new entrants in farming.

It suggests increasing premium support for higher levels of insurance coverage and enhancing the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) by providing additional premium support and expanding coverage levels.

The legislation directs the Risk Management Agency (RMA) to study ways to make SCO more effective in larger counties. It also allows farmers the flexibility to choose between enhanced crop insurance or participating in programs like Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC).

The PACE Act, co-introduced with Senator Amy Klobuchar, seeks to improve access to crucial financial resources. It proposes raising loan limits in several key areas: from $400,000 to $750,000 for Direct Operating Loans, and from $2.04 million to $2.6 million for Guaranteed Operating Loans.

Ownership loans would see increases too, with Direct Ownership Loans jumping from $600,000 to $850,000, and Guaranteed Ownership Loans from $2.04 million to $3 million.

This act also aims to adjust the inflation benchmark for guaranteed ownership loans to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Ag Land Values land survey. It increases the cap for the FSA microloan program from $50,000 to $100,000 and mandates rule changes to help distressed borrowers refinance their loans.

“We need to support the next generation of farmers and ranchers so American families continue to have access to the highest quality, lowest cost food supply in the world,” said Hoeven. His commitment underscores a strategic focus on reducing barriers for new farmers, ensuring they have the tools needed for a prosperous start in agriculture.

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Categories: North Dakota, Government & Policy

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