How the Senate Budget Committee hearing on climate change could impact US ag

Crop insurance and labor were both key issues discussed at a Senate Budget Committee hearing on climate change held Thursday in Washington.

Crop insurance was a key topic at a Senate Budget Committee hearing on climate change that will have an impact on American agriculture. One professor at Utah State University testified about crucial data when disaster strikes.

“One of the advantages of crop insurance is you do not have to wait every five years for a farm bill,” said Professor Brandon Willis. “The USDA has the authority to adjust those programs to take into account new problems that are, you know, coming about —and they have a shorter timeline. So I do think there are things they can do to address those types of situations. I think crop insurance is a good tool because they can take the data. They can take the research. They don’t have to wait for a farm bill. They can adjust the policy so that it provides so. It’s more responsive.”

Another big topic at the hearing was ag labor and the ongoing challenges facing the industry. Willis said the need for immigrant ag labor hits home.

“Obviously it’s huge. I can tell you from I grew up on a sheep ranch,” ,” Willis said. “It’s a huge burden for the sheep producers who I talked to day-to-day. I think you know. It’s at risk of putting some out of business, quite frankly. Because of the challenges they face on that.”

Ag labor and H-2A visas are topics lawmakers will continue to follow as work on the 2023 Farm Bill continues.

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