LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Roger Victory (fourth from left) attended a special joint committee hearing at the Michigan State University Pavilion Tuesday addressing the increasing challenges facing Michigan farmers.
The joint House and Senate Agriculture Committee hearing included testimony from farmers as well as agriculture experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan State University, the Michigan Farm Bureau and others.
“Solving the current agriculture crisis here in Michigan will take a renewed effort and the best minds providing expert input,” said Victory, R-Hudsonville. “Thankfully, we heard from some of those experts in the field today regarding not only our disastrously wet spring but additional problems facing the industry.”
A bill signed into law in June appropriated $15 million into the Agricultural Disaster Loan Origination Program, which will help ensure Michigan farmers will be able to cover their expenses over the summer.
The program is a partnership between farmers and processors, private lenders, and the state that provides a 1% interest rate on loans to help support the agriculture industry through loss of crops due to weather-related disasters.
Victory said Michigan’s farmers are coping with a difficult growing season with record rainfall hindering planting; only 68% of the corn crop and 70% of the soybean crop planned was planted.
In addition, the industry has faced global economic pressures and financial stress, the lawmaker said.
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