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Rep. Kelly Visits Kankakee County Farm with President Biden

President Biden & Secretary Vilsack announced new initiatives to reduce costs for farmers in the wake of Putin’s price hike

President Biden, Congresswoman Robin Kelly at the O'Connor Family Farms in Kankakee, Illinois
President Biden, Congresswoman Robin Kelly at the O’Connor Family Farms in Kankakee, Illinois. (Photo: White House)

Kankakee, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02) visited O’Connor Family Farms in Kankakee, Illinois on May 11 with President Biden and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. President Biden announced actions his administration is taking to support American farmers, reduce food prices, and feed the world.

“I am thrilled to have welcomed President Biden to the Second Congressional District today, which is home to over 1,200 family-owned farms. President Biden and his administration are working to reduce costs for farmers and to mitigate supply chain issues facing consumers,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “I applaud President Biden for the measures he announced today – doubling funding for domestic fertilizer production, increasing assistance for soil nutrient management, and expanding double-cropping insurance – which will help farmers like Jeff and Gina O’Connor.

“It is an honor to work on behalf of Illinois’ farmers and I will continue working with President Biden to reduce costs for farmers and consumers and strengthen our supply chains.”

Putin’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine has cut off a critical source of wheat, corn, barley, oilseeds, and cooking oil. It has also disrupted global supply chains for fertilizer, which farmers depend on to maximize yields. These and other actions, combined with the ongoing pandemic-related disruptions to global supply chains, have put pressure on food prices, with global food prices increasing nearly 13 percent following Putin’s invasion.

America’s farmers are the breadbasket of democracy and are already playing a critical role in the fight against Putin’s Price Hike. During President Biden’s first year in office, American agricultural exports shattered all previous records, reaching a combined $177 billion, generating an estimated $378 billion in total economic output, and supporting 1.3 million jobs here in the United States.

Today, the President announced new actions to give farmers the tools and resources they need to boost production, lower food prices, and feed the world. As the world’s second-largest exporter of wheat and soybeans, these actions will help grow new markets for American-grown food, supporting jobs in rural communities across America. Specifically, the Biden-Harris Administration will:

  • Increase the number of counties eligible for double cropping insurance:
    • Double cropping allows farmers to plant a second crop on the same land in the same year, helping boost production without relying on farmers to substitute crops or cultivate new land. But it is not free from risk and some farmers who practice double-cropping cannot obtain crop insurance, including those in Kankakee County, Illinois.
    • The Biden-Harris Administration is seeking to expand insurance for double cropping to as many as 681 additional counties, bringing the total number of counties where this practice qualifies for crop insurance to as many as 1,935, so more American farmers have the financial security they need to start or expand double cropping.
  • Cut costs for farmers by increasing technical assistance for technology-driven “precision agriculture” and other nutrient management tools:
    • Precision agriculture is a farm management system that allows farmers to use technology to target the application of inputs to soil and plant needs, resulting in less fertilizer usage without reducing yields, saving farmers money over time, and extending the usefulness of critical products in short supply worldwide.
    • The U.S. Department of Agriculture has planning and cost-sharing assistance programs available to help American farmers with nutrient management. The Biden-Harris Administration is working to boost outreach to farmers, streamline the application process, and prioritize application approvals to expand access to these critical programs.
  • Double funding for domestic fertilizer production:
    • Fertilizer prices have more than doubled since last year, due in part to supply chain disruptions created and exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including rising energy costs.
    • President Biden is announcing that he is doubling his initial $250 million investment in domestic fertilizer production to $500 million to lower costs and boost availability for farmers, so they can obtain the inputs they need at prices they can afford to maximize yields.

This is news from Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s office.

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