South Dakota Farmers Feeling Optimistic After Congress Passes Farm Bill

S.D.-Many area farmers are feeling optimistic about an $867 billion federal farm bill. It was passed by Congress on Dec. 12th.

“It’s not perfect, but we’re certainly happy with it,” said Lisa Richardson, Executive Director of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association.

Farmers got hit hard this year by tariffs due to the trade war with China. This bill will provide funding for programs that promote foreign trade of U.S. agriculture products.

“They’re instrumental in helping us open up new markets. You know a few years ago we didn’t export Ethanol, Ethanol is a big deal in South Dakota. This year we are going to export over 1.6 billion gallons,” said Richardson.

South Dakota corn farmers play a key role in helping the nation reach that 1.6 billion gallon mark. Foreign business is important for those farmers who export nearly one-third of the state’s harvested corn.

Farmers also struggled this year with bad weather. Crop insurance will continue to give farmers economic certainty.

“This is really one of the fundamental pieces that affects their daily lives. They have no control over mother nature. They have no control if all the sudden that can’t get in in the spring because there’s too much rain and then mother nature decides to turn off and there’s no rain,” said Richardson.

Overall, the farm bill brings relief to the South Dakota farming community.

“I commend our delegation and leadership in Congress to really with all things on the table next year, putting certainty out there, making a five year agreement,” said Richardson.

President Trump is expected to pass the farm bill into law soon.  


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