Today, the House Committee on Agriculture held a Full Committee hearing on the “State of the Rural Economy.” U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue shared his perspective on the on the current state of the agricultural economy and how to make USDA programs work better for America’s farmers and ranchers.
National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) President David Schemm made the following statement:
“Wheat farmers and all of agriculture are suffering some of the toughest economic conditions we’ve had to deal with since the 1980s. Wheat prices have been on the decline for the past couple of years and are expected to remain low for the foreseeable future.
“Between a rapidly declining market and years of sustained low prices, farmers are having a difficultly getting by, particularly young and beginning farmers who weren’t able to build up reserves during the high price years. Funding in the 2018 Farm Bill must be increased to address the significant reductions in farm prices and income incurred since 2013.
“These factors, along with significant competition in our export markets, have led to a decrease in production of wheat crops planted. Overall wheat crops planted for 2017 is estimated at 46.1 million acres, representing the lowest total planted area for the United States since 1919.
“NAWG applauds the House Committee on Agriculture for holding this hearing to examine some of the toughest issues being faced by growers in rural America.
“NAWG also thanks Secretary Purdue for stressing the importance of crop insurance in his remarks.”