USA Rice Producers' Group Chairman Linda Raun told lawmakers that rice producers have made two reasonable requests throughout the farm bill process: to provide farmers risk management options and to ensure that the options include real price protection.
Raun, who with her husband, L.G., farms rice in Texas, testified on behalf of the U.S. rice industry before the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.
In her comments to the subcommittee, Raun said rice farmers have joined with other commodity groups to ask that the farm bill protect and improve crop insurance for all crops and regions and have urged that the historic payment eligibility and limit reforms enacted in the 2008 farm bill not be reopened in the next one.
The Senate Agriculture Committee has chosen a farm policy path that denies producers "a choice of risk management options that meaningfully address the unique perils they face," Raun said. Instead the Senate committee's bill forces "farmers of all crops into a program tailor-made for two crops and one region of the country" that results in other crop producers in other regions of the country having "no safety net at all."
Raun thanked House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), Ranking Democrat Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and the subcommittee's leaders for their leadership and fairness in looking out for all American farmers.
USA Rice Federation continues to work with House and Senate offices and Agriculture Committees to obtain an options-based farm safety-net program that is effective and equitable.
To read Linda Raun's written testimony, please click here.