What is in this article?:
- Farm bill framework by Christmas, vote in mid-January?
- Hindering trade
- Food stamp cuts reportedly agreed to by farm bill conferees.
- Regional commodity title differences still to be resolved.
- Short-term farm bill extension may pass with eye to new farm bill vote in January.
In the past, producers have used direct payments as price support. Those won’t be back after this farm bill. But Young warns that Southern farmers must have something in place to protect positions and not leave themselves dangerously vulnerable to major price fluctuations.
Also, too few acknowledge that there is no guarantee input costs must come down when commodity prices dip.
“Our Midwestern counterparts look at the situation much differently, of course,” says Young. “They look to crop insurance as something that helps after years of drought. If they have a drought and normally turn their normal 200-bushels corn yield to a 70-bushel yield, they want protection.
“Here, the South is different. We can always make a crop but it won’t necessarily be profitable because the price may have declined to the point where it won’t allow it.”
What about the lack of a farm bill hindering 2014 preparations?
“It is important that we get a farm bill because it affects so many common, everyday things that most folks don’t think about,” says Young. “For example, with every second there isn’t a farm bill, foreign market development is like a can with a tight lid on it.”
A member of the U.S. Grains Council, Young says the organization has offices set up all over the world to promote sales. The needed funding – check-off dollars -- to run those offices is often matched through several U.S. government programs.
“Well, with no farm bill, all that has stopped. No one can do anything and we’re just forced to watch while other countries take sales out from under our noses. It takes years to develop these sales pipelines and deals and now they’re just sitting in limbo.
“Everyone knows when something like this lies dormant for a long time – it begins to disintegrate. The longer we delay the farm bill, the more these relationships and deals we’ve worked so hard to set up erode.
“Here’s another thing: I was at my local FSA office just a few days ago trying to certify my winter wheat. Do you realize they don’t even have the money to provide you with a file folder? They can’t provide those until a farm bill is established and their office budget is established.
It trickles down and has a real effect. The longer this goes on, the more we see that.”