With farmers in Iowa and nationwide hurting under extreme inflation, record gas and diesel prices, and sky-high fertilizer costs, today U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) questioned U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, the former Governor of Iowa, over the Biden administration’s efforts—or lack thereof—to address fertilizer costs, their expansive so-called “30×30” conservation scheme, and how supply chain challenges are impacting the agriculture community.
Today was the first time Secretary Vilsack appeared before the Senate Agriculture Committee since he was confirmed more than a year ago.
Ernst discussed how farmers are hurting from paying so much for fertilizer and other inputs. She said that the sharp spike in input prices, plus the rise in inflation, is causing food to cost Iowa consumers significantly more. Ernst noted an 11% increase in food costs since January 2021.
The Admin’s So-Called “30×30” Plan
In light of the Biden administration’s push on their so-called “30×30” plan—their radical and expansive effort to lock out 30% of U.S. land and water by 2030—Ernst described how many of her constituents have serious questions about the scope and impact of such an initiative. She discussed how one of her constituents spoke up at a town hall she held on her 99 County Tour who was concerned about the plan. Ernst asked Secretary Vislack for details of the plan and to commit to assuring Americans their lands will not be used to undermine private property rights or to lock up land.
Inflation and Supply Chain Issues
Ernst then noted that Secretary Vilsack is co-chair of President Biden’s so-called “ Supply Chain Disruption Task Force.” She asked what actions the Task Force has taken to help lower prices and ensure supply immediately. Ernst said that, since there has been little news of the Task Force’s progress, it is important that Iowa farmers and the American people get more regular updates from the body.