Boozman to Release Senate GOP Farm Bill

Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas, the top Republican on the Senate Ag Committee, traveled to Oklahoma for a farm bill listening session. Boozman says the suggestions from Oklahoma producers were similar to other farmers around the country.

“Each state is a little bit different. On the other hand, it is amazing being with farmers all over the country. They’re all the same. They’re very concerned about the fact that when you look at the forecast right now, we’re in a situation where their input costs are very high. Those will level out eventually, but transportation costs aren’t going to go down and labor costs aren’t going to go down. That’s going to stay high. But combined with that, every forecaster I’ve talked to, whether it’s the USDA, whether it’s Oklahoma State, all of our great land grants that do such a good job, feel like commodity prices are going to continue to fall.”

He says the safety net needs to be in place to help farmers manage their risks. Boozman will release his own farm bill framework, something that will be similar to the one from House Ag Committee Chair GT Thompson.

“Ours will be very similar to GTs, and I think he’s done a really good job of listening to the farm community and then trying to address the problems that we see out there. And so, we’ll be working with him and Senator Stabenow and Congressman Scott again, trying to work out differences and get a farm bill done as soon as possible. People say, ‘Senator, we’ve got to get this done,’ and I agree. On the other hand, this is a five-year commitment. Once we do this, this is a contract with our farmers for five years. So, we don’t need to just do something. We need to do the right thing.”

Boozman says it’ll take bipartisanship to get a farm bill done yet this year.

“Farm Bills aren’t Democrat and Republican. To pass a farm bill, you have to have a bipartisan farm bill. You know, it just doesn’t work. So, recognizing that, we’ll be working with everyone, it’s a big deal, and we’re committed to getting it done as quickly as possible, but we do want to make sure that our farmers have the tools they need to go forward. If not, then we’re better off staying like we are for a while.”