Many in the farming community say, yes, America has plenty of food to feed its hungry, but producing it isn’t cheap. And as producer margins narrow, farm leaders worry the cost of production could become too much for many small operators to bear. During a House Ag hearing on food insecurity last week, Georgia Representative Austin Scott said while U.S. farmers feed millions of Americans, and billions around the world right now….if those farmers can’t farm, then they can’t feed anyone. Which is why he’s calling for a “balanced approach” when trying to address hunger.
“If things like Waters of the U.S. and restrictions on pesticides, and the other things we use in the inputs of our food supply chain are restricted, and the cost of producing a crop goes up, what would the impact be on the food supply chain?”
“If you increase their input costs, it’s going to be extremely hard to continue to feed the people in our country,” responded American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duval. “You’re exactly right; if it costs more to produce it, it’s going to cost the consumer more to buy it.”
Duval stressed the need to streamline regulatory oversight so farmers can use all the tools available to them. Duvall told House Ag lawmakers that small farmers have “enough barriers in the way.” Right now, and they “don’t need more through overregulation”.
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