Peterson was also unhappy with the recently-proposed White House budget that would slash crop insurance funding. “I think the cuts being proposed by (President Obama) are ill-advised and a mistake. We made significant changes in (the crop insurance) program and we don’t have the information or results from those changes. We won’t have them for another year.

“There are people in my office – from (insurance) companies and agents -- telling me we’ve gone too far. I don’t know if we have, or not. And we won’t know until we actually get the data on what’s happened in the industry and marketplace.

“I’m opposed to making any further changes in crop insurance. The (chairmen and ranking members from both agriculture committees) have met a couple of times … and in those meetings I’ve heard all four of us say we’re opposed to any more changes in crop insurance.”

The late November deadline faced by Congress’ “super committee” -- charged with finding at least $1.5 trillion in cuts/savings to the federal budget over a decade – has not spurred it to communicate with fellow legislators. Asked how the next farm bill will be affected by the super committee, Peterson was in the dark. “The honest answer is: We don’t know. We don’t know what the super-committee is actually looking for. We have not been told. We have not been given" a budget number to shoot for "and the process is unclear.

“There have been some discussions by myself and (Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee) with some members of the super-committee. But we’ve gotten no formal questions from them.

“We’ve decided that it’s in our best interest to move ahead and be pro-active in anticipation that there will be some instructions and requests by the super-committee at some point. We do have staff looking at options and what kind of policies would have to be considered anywhere in the range of $11 billion -- which was (proposed) by the 'gang of six' –- up to $33 billion, which is being talked about by President Obama and (Ohio Rep. John Boehner, Speaker of the House). They’re both at that number…

“We view (Obama’s) proposal kind of like we view his budget. They put all the good stuff in the budget and everyone ignores it. I think that’s the impact of some of what they’ve put forward.”