Farm Talk

Ag News from Around the Country

June 18, 2013

Growers press House on Farm Bill 23

Parsons, Kansas — In a letter to lawmakers June 13, the U.S. Canola Association, American Soybean Association, National Sunflower Association and National Corn Growers Association urged the House of Representatives to quickly consider and pass H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act.

“We are very encouraged by the momentum that the farm bill has going into the House and we urge Representatives to act quickly to provide farmers with the certainty we need moving forward,” said American Soybean Association President Danny Murphy, a soybean grower from Canton, Miss. “We are convinced that lawmakers can work together to pass a bill that both supports agriculture and confronts our budgetary obligations responsibly.”

The four farm groups support many of the programs included in H.R. 1947 as reported by the Committee on Agriculture. The bill would consolidate conservation programs, reauthorize and fund agricultural research, energy and export promotion programs, and make improvements in federal crop insurance.

“We strongly support these provisions and ask that you oppose any amendments which would eliminate or weaken them,” the groups wrote.

However, they noted their concern with the bill's Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program option, which would set high, fixed reference prices for program crops that in some cases, exceed their historical prices and cost of production. PLC would also tie payments to crops producers grow in the current year, which could distort planting decisions and production if market prices fall below their support levels.

“There has been a lot of time, effort and investment put into establishing an infrastructure for alternative crops such as canola and sunflowers, and we are very concerned that tying reference prices to current year plantings could negate years of work,” stated U.S. Canola Association Vice President Jeff Scott, a farmer from Pond Creek, Okla.

“When and if prices collapse, farmers will choose the crop with the least risk and highest support price,” added National Sunflower Association President Kevin Capistran, a farmer from Crookston, Minn. “Bottom line, we would prefer to have the markets dictate what gets planted rather than a government support price.”

Since the 1996 Farm Bill, farm policy has provided planting flexibility, encouraging producers to respond to market signals in making their planting decisions rather than to the prospect of receiving government payments, the commodity groups noted.

“We do not want to see policies return to the era of high supports tied to current-year plantings, which distorted crop production in the 1980s,” they said. “The PLC program in the Committee bill should be modified to make it responsive to the market rather than the government.”

The commodity groups spoke to a potential amendment from Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) that would address their concerns by setting reference prices at a percentage of recent average market prices, which do not exceed production costs. The Gibbs amendment would also provide for payments on historical crop acreage bases rather than on current-year plantings.

“These changes would make the PLC program more market-oriented and significantly reduce the risk of distorting planting decisions and production,” the groups wrote. “They would also reduce the likelihood of the program violating U.S. commitments under the World Trade Organization. Moreover, they would achieve an estimated $10 billion in savings in addition to the Committee bill.”

Given that the 2013 Farm Bill passed with strong support in the Senate, the commodity groups are urging the House to swiftly follow suit.

“Passing a comprehensive, market-oriented farm bill is critically important to not only agriculture but to every American,” concluded NCGA President Pam Johnson, a corn farmer from Floyd, Iowa. “We encourage the House to adopt policy that will be both responsive to taxpayers and effective in helping farms remain viable and productive.” £


Text Only
Ag News from Around the Country
  • Feds release cattle

    U.S. authorities released 400 or so head of cattle rounded up on public land from a rancher who refused to recognize their authority, in a dispute that drew hundreds of protesters to his defense and fueled a debate over state and federal land rights.

    April 15, 2014

  • APAC.jpg In search of a cost-effective fuel for cooking in rural Africa

    Most, if not all, food in Guede Chantier, Senegal is cooked over a wood fire. This is typical of the situation in much of rural sub-Saharan Africa. The acquiring of firewood often is a task that is added to all of the other household and farming/marketing tasks that are carried out by women.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • EPA water proposal stirs ag controversy

    Proposed new language in the Clean Water Act has some farm groups charging the government is over-stepping its authority by expanding jurisdiction of “waters of the United States.”

    April 1, 2014

  • Ag may be biggest beneficiary of drones

    For centuries, farmers have braved the elements to walk their land to check for problems ranging from wind damage and calving cows to pests and predators.
    Unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) may save farmers time and money with bird’s-eye views of farmland, says Bob Schultheis, a natural resource engineering specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Webster County.

    March 25, 2014

  • Implementation of 2014 Farm Bill allows farmers time to make an informed choice

    With the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill well into the 2014 crop year for winter wheat and the planning period for other row crops and with the significant changes Congress made to commodity policy—the elimination of Direct Payments, the need for farmers to choose between Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC), and the addition of the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) to the insurance program—the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was faced with a compressed time period in which to write all of the appropriate guidelines and regulations if farmers were to have to make their choices between PLC and ARC this spring.

    March 11, 2014

  • Farmland.jpg Fed survey suggests farmland ‘cooling’

    Farmland markets in the middle of the country may have begun to cool, according to a survey of bankers in the Federal Reserve’s Tenth District.
    The district includes Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, the northern half of New Mexico and the western third of Missouri.

    March 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • APAC-chart.jpg Price and the value of agricultural exports

    Exports are a big deal for agriculture, always have been and always will be. Of course, the mix of agricultural exports has changed over time.

    February 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farm bill synopsis:

    February 11, 2014

  • Farm bill plows under direct payments

    Farm subsidies that have guided agriculture through record profits in recent years are going away in the five-year farm bill that could become law in the coming week. But new subsidies in the legislation could be just as generous, and farmers aren't complaining.

    February 4, 2014

  • MU meats team.jpg MU meats judging team has top 10 finish in Denver

    The University of Missouri meat judging team placed seventh in the National Western Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest at the 2014 National Western Stock Show in Denver.

    January 28, 2014 1 Photo

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content