Thune Addresses Ag Issues During Floor Speech In Washington

(WNAX) — South Dakota Senator John Thune made a speech on the Senate floor, talking about issues ag producers in the state and region are facing…

“Our economy has made tremendous strides over the past two years. Americans, on the whole, have access to more jobs, higher wages, and more opportunities. But, unfortunately our nation’s agricultural economy is trailing behind the broader economy. A combination of low commodity prices protractive trade disputes and natural disasters. Weather related issues have left many farmers and ranchers struggling. Nationwide net farm income is about half of what it was in 2013, half.”

Thune says he has been pushing the Trump Administration to complete new trade deals…

“One of the biggest things we can do for our nation’s farmers and ranchers is to secure trade deals that will open up new markets for American agricultural products. I support the president’s efforts to secure a more favorable treatment for American products, and his determination to ensure that China honors the trade commitments that it’s made. But, I believe we need to wrap up negotiations on these various agreements that we’re discussing as quickly as possible.”

Thune says he wants USDA to move on crop insurance and other payments as quickly as possible…

“In addition to working on trade issues and farm bill implementation, I’m working with the Department of Agriculture’s risk management agency to ensure our farmers are treated fairly under crop insurance prevent plant and cover crop rules. I’ve been working with the agriculture department to make certain the recently announced second round of market facilitation program payments do not affect this year’s planting decisions.”

Thune says he hears from producers everyday about the issues on the ground and is relaying them to the Administration.