Call To Action: 2012 Farm Bill

On April 26, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed their version of a 2012 Farm Bill by a vote of 16-5 that would gear the farm safety net to a program based on crop insurance and revenue guarantees.

Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) has a significant interest in the preservation of the crop insurance program and the legislation that was voted out of the Senate Agriculture committee runs parallel with membership policy goals.

Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Senator Debbie Stabenow felt that the strength of this vote in Committee would be enough to secure floor time for the bill in the upcoming weeks.

The bill is estimated to save $24.7 billion over a 10-year period by taking a $6.5 billion reduction to conservation programs, 19% reduction to crop subsidies, and a $4 billion cut to nutrition programs.

The most contentious changes of the legislation regarded the commodity title, which saw direct payments come to an end to be replaced with payment distributions to farmers when price deviations or crop yield losses occur that would result in changes from average revenue amounts. This is where the southern contingent of Senators took umbrage with the policy, citing that the growers they represent would not receive the coverage they needed due to the nature of growing and marketing their crops.

Many changes were made in the conservation title, mainly streamlining the existing 23 programs into 13 and reducing the acreage in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which pays farmers to take highly erodible land out of production for the purpose of conservation. CRP acreage reduction was a policy goal for the ARA membership and the Senate bill reflects a positive outcome with the acreage being reduced to 25 million from the existing 32 million acres by 2017.

Although many of the policy goals adopted by ARA over this past year were realized, there are still a few battles yet to win which are as follows:

  • Inclusion of H.R. 872. Regulatory Reduction Act of 2011, which would provide the agriculture industry with certainty in pesticide application and help to clarify Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction. This would make any product approved under FIFRA permitted for use without the need for an NPDES permit or any further regulatory compliance standard.
  • CRP. Although the acreage was reduced to a desirable in the CRP program, the push for more flexible contract terms is still on. CRP participants should be offered more flexibility in contract terms by being allowed to opt out early from part or the entirety of their contracts. There are many instances in which the contract lengths are too long and do not provide those CRP participants with the opportunity to take advantage of emerging techniques and technologies in the production of corn, soybeans, or other crops that can be used for additional feed, food, and fiber as well as the production of renewable energy.
  • TSP/ State Technical Committees. There is still a need for more industry representatives for the Technical Service Provider (TSP) program on State Technical Committees. ARA is supportive of TSP program; however, there needs to be a better working relationship between the USDA and the private sector. Considering most of the contract work is being performed by retired NRCS personnel and it is a missed opportunity for business owners to provide assistance to their farmer customers, especially in rural economies where small business assistance is needed most.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives held their first hearings yesterday to consider the Farm Bill, with conservation title being discussed in the morning and dairy support programs being the topic for the afternoon. The conservation hearing had two panels of witnesses delivering testimony with participation from groups such as the National Association of Conservation Districts, National Association of Corn Growers, and Pheasants Forever. The groups generally expressed support for the conservation title of the legislation, referring to it as a bipartisan accomplishment, but warning that any further cuts to these programs could seriously reduce effectiveness. Jon Scholl, president of the American Farmland Trust, was adamant in letting committee members know that it was essential to keep the core elements of each program intact when combining programs to streamline the totality of the conservation offering.

The House of Representatives will continue to hold Farm Bill hearings through May 18.

ARA encourages you to contact your members of Congress and educate them on why these issues are important to your business and to agriculture as a whole. The timing of this upcoming week of recess provides the perfect opportunity to reach out to congressional offices and make your concerns known before this legislation reaches the Senate floor or is taken up in the House Agriculture Committee.

To take action and send a message directly to your legislator, click here.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Call To Action: 2012 Farm Bill

Legislation Stories
LegislationUSDA: Quick Implementation Of Disaster Assistance Programs A ‘Top Priority’
July 9, 2014
USDA has processed 106,000 payments to farmers in 40 states across the country who suffered livestock and grazing losses between Oct. 2011 and passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. Read More
LegislationTFI Praises White House For Signing WRRDA Into Law
June 11, 2014
The bill streamlines U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects, prioritizes authorized waterway improvements and provides needed adjustments to the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. Read More
LegislationAg Policy: Plenty Of Fertilizer Issues Ahead
January 2, 2014
From West Fertilizer to the Chesapeake Bay, fertilizer producers and dealers are keeping an eye on several Beltway developments in 2014. Read More
Farm Bill
LegislationLack Of Farm Bill Leaves Farmers Facing Uncertainty In 2014
December 13, 2013
With just a few legislative working days remaining in 2013, the likelihood of a new farm bill is waning, leaving farmers in limbo once again. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires South Dakota Retailer
April 2, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Agribusiness Division, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed Read More
CropLife 100The McGregor Co. Closes Smith-Kem Acquisition
April 2, 2015
The McGregor Co. — ranked No. 16 on the CropLife 100 list of largest U.S. ag retailers — has completed Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Latest News
Eric SfiligojThe Need To Defend Production Agriculture
April 27, 2015
Last week, I spent the better part of my time on the road visiting with ag retailers and market suppliers Read More
FertilizerStarter Fertilizers Show Value In Stressful Spring Cond…
April 27, 2015
From wet, cold conditions in the eastern Corn Belt to excessively dry, cool soils in the Plains states, spring field Read More
StewardshipTFI Announces Renewed Financial Commitment To Fertilize…
April 24, 2015
Today, The Fertilizer Institute’s (TFI) President Chris Jahn announced that TFI and over 100 partners will more than double existing Read More
Industry NewsMACA Names New Ambassador Coordinator
April 23, 2015
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) has named Michelle Kilper as its new Ambassador Coordinator. Michelle is a graduate of Read More
ManagementAg Retailer’s Role In Local Policy Making; Raising The …
April 23, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review their recent travels, precision ag efforts in Washington, DC, and the role of Read More
TMX-2050 In-Cab Display Launch Run Screen
Precision AgIn-Cab Computing 2015: Connectivity, Compatibility Take…
April 23, 2015
In terms of in-cab computing solutions for the agriculture market, companies like Case IH, Topcon, Trimble, John Deere and Raven Read More
USDA
StewardshipUSDA Outlines Building Blocks For Climate Smart Agricul…
April 23, 2015
Today, the USDA has announced a comprehensive and detailed approach to support farmers, ranchers, and forest land owners in their Read More
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Welcomes New Territory Sales Manager
April 23, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the addition of Kaitlyn Acaster to the Canadian sales team. Acaster will fill the Read More
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Opens New Research Greenhouse
April 23, 2015
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI), a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture, turf Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Acquires Taxon Biosciences
April 23, 2015
DuPont has agreed to acquire Taxon Biosciences, Inc., a leading microbiome discovery company. This acquisition will build on DuPont’s in-house capabilities Read More
Farmer on tablet
ManagementStudy: Consumers Don’t Care If U.S. Farmers Feed …
April 23, 2015
“We’re feeding the world” is a mantra often used by those involved in farming and food to build support for Read More
Industry NewsCorporate Responsibility Magazine Names Monsanto One Of…
April 22, 2015
Corporate Responsibility Magazine (CR Magazine) named Monsanto Co. to its 100 Best Corporate Citizens List for 2015. This is the Read More
FertilizerSpring Nitrogen Management: Form And Timing
April 22, 2015
Most corn producers have planned their spring nitrogen program for 2015, and many have already started to implement their program. Read More
FMC 3Rive 3D
Industry NewsFMC Corp. Completes Acquisition Of Cheminova
April 22, 2015
FMC Corp. has completed the closing of its acquisition of Cheminova A/S, a multinational crop protection company based in Denmark Read More
SoftwareSyngenta Expands AgriEdge Excelsior Nationwide For 2015
April 22, 2015
Growers across the country can now take the guesswork out of improving their farm’s production, land value, farm stewardship and Read More
Cornfield near Sioux City Iowa
HerbicidesU.S. Regulators May Start Testing Food For Glyphosate R…
April 21, 2015
U.S. regulators may start testing food products for residues of the world’s most widely used herbicide, EPA told Reuters’ Carey Read More
FungicidesBRANDT Adds Zonix Biofungicide To Portfolio
April 21, 2015
BRANDT has added Zonix biofungicide to its rapidly expanding line of organic and sustainable products. Zonix is a contact fungicide that Read More
ManagementMissouri Experts: Spring Planting Slow Start Won’…
April 20, 2015
In the first of the agronomy teleconferences with Extension specialists, University of Missouri Extension climatologist Pat Guinan said the slow Read More