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

Roy Blunt
LegislationARA Recognizes Blunt, Heitkamp For Legislative Efforts Supporting Agriculture
February 17, 2017
Agricultural industry continues to face federal regulatory challenges. Thankfully, agriculture’s allies in the U.S. Senate stepped forward. The Agricultural Retailers Read More
LegislationThe Fertilizer Institute Commends Senate On Confirmation Of New EPA Administrator
February 17, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationBREAKING: Trump EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Confirmed by Senate
February 17, 2017
Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general spent years suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its efforts to regulate various Read More
LegislationARA Fly-In: Ag Retail Descends on Capitol Hill, Lawmakers
February 15, 2017
More than 100 agricultural retailers, distributors and suppliers headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning for the Agribusiness Congressional Fly-in, according to a Read More
Trending Articles
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls And Bears Impacting This Year’s Marketplace
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
Latest News
EquipmentAGCO Parts Revamps Sprayparts.com For Faster, Easier On…
February 28, 2017
AGCO Parts, a division of AGCO Corp., a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, has redesigned and improved Sprayparts.com, Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
HerbicidesRegional Listening Sessions Give Farmers A Voice In The…
February 27, 2017
Both scientists and regulators have had a lot to say about the growing problem of herbicide resistance and how weed Read More
Greystone Construction built the tension membrane fertilizer storage building (left) and steel seed treater building (right)
CropLife 100Pinnacle Announces Successful Exchange Offer Results An…
February 27, 2017
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC has announced today the early tender results of its previously announced offer to exchange (the “Exchange Read More
IEI Barge Fertilizer Potash Port Terminal
EquipmentLegacy Building Solutions Receives Design-Build Merit A…
February 27, 2017
When IEI Barge Services needed a building capable of storing and loading fertilizer, they turned to Legacy Building Solutions to Read More
ManagementSouth Africa Update and the New New Leader G5
February 24, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Dan Jacobs discuss the recent visit to South Africa by sister magazine AgriBusiness Global and the Read More
Fall Creek Watershed
StewardshipUpdate: Nutrient Stewardship In Indiana Requires Cool, …
February 24, 2017
Update: The application deadline for NCRS funding has been extended to March 17, 2017. Green leaves sparkle in the sunlight. Trees Read More
Greenleaf Technologies TADF03-D Dual Fan Nozzle
NozzlesSix Greenleaf Nozzles Approved For XtendiMax With Vapor…
February 22, 2017
Greenleaf Technologies has announced that six of its TurboDrop D Series nozzles have been approved for use with Monsanto’s XtendiMax Read More
Winter Wheat
Industry NewsTiger-Sul Hires Manitoba And Eastern Canada Account Man…
February 22, 2017
Tiger-Sul, a global leader in sulphur fertilizers and crop performance products, has announced that sales veteran Trevor Loewen has joined Read More
NFMS 17 Hagie Sprayer
Eric SfiligojThe Read From Louisville: Uncertain
February 22, 2017
By the time this column appears across the country, the annual Commodity Classic will be in full swing. This means Read More
SprayersApache 1000 Series Sprayer Earns 2017 EquipmentWatch Hi…
February 21, 2017
ET Works has been named a winner in the 2017 EquipmentWatch Highest Retained Value Awards program, the industry’s only award Read More
Measuring Bulk Tanks
StewardshipMeister Media Among 2017 Award Winners Presented By The…
February 21, 2017
The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) held its annual conference in San Diego, CA, earlier this month where three awards were Read More
John Reifsteck
CropLife 100GROWMARK’s Reifsteck Earns NCFC Director Of The Y…
February 21, 2017
GROWMARK Chairman of the Board and President John Reifsteck has earned the prestigious Director of the Year Award from the Read More
Roy Blunt
LegislationARA Recognizes Blunt, Heitkamp For Legislative Efforts …
February 17, 2017
Agricultural industry continues to face federal regulatory challenges. Thankfully, agriculture’s allies in the U.S. Senate stepped forward. The Agricultural Retailers Read More
LegislationThe Fertilizer Institute Commends Senate On Confirmatio…
February 17, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationBREAKING: Trump EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Confirmed by S…
February 17, 2017
Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general spent years suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its efforts to regulate various Read More
ManagementFebruary Road Trip Edition
February 17, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent visits to Indiana and Kentucky. Read More
Heritage Cooperative Finished Building Aerial
ManagementHeritage Cooperative, Agland Co-op Approve Merger
February 17, 2017
Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative stockholders have both approved the merger agreement between Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative. Now begins Read More
LegislationARA Fly-In: Ag Retail Descends on Capitol Hill, Lawmake…
February 15, 2017
More than 100 agricultural retailers, distributors and suppliers headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning for the Agribusiness Congressional Fly-in, according to a Read More