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Chairman Scott Opening Statement at Hearing to Review Credit Conditions

Washington, December 11, 2019
Chairman Scott Opening Statement at Hearing to Review Credit Conditions

WASHINGTON- House Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit Chairman David Scott of Georgia delivered the following statement at today's hearing to review credit conditions:

[As Prepared for Delivery]

"Good morning and thank you for being here today as we look to review credit conditions.

"Our farmers are facing challenging times. From trade wars, weather events, low commodity prices and general uncertainty, rural America is being tested.  

"Credit is critical for farmers’ success. It is important for us to understand how they work both independently and together.

"It is also important for all lenders to work with farmers and rural America during this tough time. Earlier today Farm Credit announced a new program that will train individuals who work with farmers and ranchers to recognize signs of stress and connect those farmers with professional help.

"Uncertainties regarding foreign market access and higher ending commodity stocks, among other factors, have contributed to lower prices for many agricultural commodities in recent years. While delinquency rates on residential and all commercial loans have steadily decreased since the 2008 financial crisis, agriculture related commercial loans rates are experiencing an increasing trend. 

"The witnesses before us today know the pulse of rural America, and work with farmers on the ground every day.  They can speak to the face to face interactions they’ve had with farmers and how that has changed in the last several months with the ongoing low commodity prices and trade uncertainties.

"How much longer can our farmers continue under these conditions? What happens if there isn’t a trade deal with China until after the election, as President Trump alluded to the other day?

"You all work with farmers to offer the best assistance to help continue their businesses and I am very much looking forward to this discussion today about how we all can best help rural America." 
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