MONTEZUMA, Kan. (KSNW) – Roger Marshall stopped by southwest Kansas today to hear what farmers and ranchers have to say about the farm bill, which is being drafted in DC.
Congressman Marshall says the Department of Agriculture is looking at a 3 percent cut, but there’s one area he won’t touch.
“First and foremost is crop insurance is working well,” said Marshall. “Crop insurance costs Americans about $35 per person.”
The voters agree, saying crop insurance benefits more than just farmers.
“That affects not only agriculture producers,” said Ulysses resident Galen Pelton, “but obviously their financial institutions as well, main street, the input producers, the elevators.”
To meet proposed budget cuts, Marshall wants to add work requirements for food stamps.
“As people get better jobs,” said Marshall, “then they’ll have less reliance on the government, so we need to make a little bit of a haircut probably on the food stamps side.”
Other concerns raised involved allowing farmers to adapt national standards and practices to meet local needs, like nozzle spacing on irrigation pivots to decrease water lost through evaporation.
“Some producers are innovating where they can use broader spacing,” said Garden City resident Mark Rude. “Not try to wet all of the ground, but with the goal of getting the water in the ground.”
Congressman Marshall says he hopes the ag committee will have a finished version of the farm bill this fall. The current version of the farm bill expires at the end of September 2018.