What is in this article?:
- House expected to take up farm bill week of June 17
- Price Loss Coverage worries
- House could vote on a new farm bill the week of June 17.
- Speaker John Boehner backs legislation.
- Major fight over nutrition program funding expected.
Price Loss Coverage worries
Another letter to lawmakers – sent June 13 and jointly signed by the American Soybean Association (ASA), National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), National Sunflower Association and the U.S. Canola Association – also urged quick passage of the farm bill in the House.
“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,” said the groups in the letter (read it here).
“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 Danny Murphy, ASA president and 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.”
In a press release, the groups did note concern with the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program option, which they argued “would set high, fixed reference prices for program crops which, in some cases, exceed their historical prices and cost of production.” There is also the possibility it would “tie payments to producers to crops they grow in the current year, which could distort planting decisions and production if market prices fall below their support levels.”
“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,” wrote the groups. “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 1980’s. The PLC program in the committee bill should be modified to make it responsive to the market rather than the government.”