Opening Statement by Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson
“Thank you Mr. Chairman and welcome, Secretary Perdue, back to the Agriculture Committee.
“As those of us here today are well aware, commodity prices have dropped since the farm bill was last reauthorized and milk prices are also softening. I am very concerned that if prices continue to fall, and yields decrease, we could be in for some real trouble. This is one of the reasons I would like to see a new farm bill, with an improved safety net, but with no new money it’s going to be hard to do.
“Last year, the President’s budget called for $231 billion in cuts to mandatory farm bill programs. You were not yet at USDA when the budget was released but I hope that we’ll be able to see your influence when the new budget is unveiled next week. I’m not sure anybody in the Administration really understands agriculture so we’re relying on you to be a voice of reason at the table.
“I appreciate your efforts to give us some guidance in writing a new farm bill. I hope you will work with us to write a bill that provides an adequate safety net and other tools for our farmers and ranchers. Thank you again for joining us today.”