Ag's Dickens' Moment and Trump's Agenda to Congress
The leader of America's biggest farm group says U.S. agriculture is experiencing something of a Charles Dickens moment, benefiting from what he called the "the best times" while dealing with the "worst" of times.
American Farm Bureau Federation's Zippy Duvall says the new Trump administration and the 115th Congress are contributing to the best of times with their appetite for regulatory and tax reform.
But, Duvall says many have reached the "breaking point" in terms of generating income to cover the cost of production.
President Trump will lay out his agenda for the country to a joint session of Congress today, while the House Ag Committee launches a series of hearings as it prepares to write a new farm bill.
Spokesman Sean Spicer says the President will lay out a "very strong blueprint of where he wants to take the country," including ideas on infrastructure, health care and education.
He's also expected to talk about his ideas for tax reform.
Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson says the current safety net was not built to adequately protect farmers from a poor crop.
The ranking member of the House Ag Committee tells Brownfield record-breaking corn and soybean production the last two years has helped offset softening commodity prices, but if we get an average or below-average crop, I think next year at this time we're going to be looking at some stress.
Peterson says the safety net seemingly works better when prices go up.