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

LegislationVilsack Christens WinField Crop Adventure, Talks Monsanto-Bayer, GMO-Labeling and TPP
June 17, 2016
The WinField Crop Adventure grand opening ceremonies at Fair Oaks Farms (near Winemac, IN) welcomed USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Read More
CPP, glyphosate, dicamba, atrazine,
Crop InputsReport: Congress Pressing EPA On Glyphosate Review Handling
May 16, 2016
Via Reuters.com reporter P.J. Huffstutter: U.S. lawmakers have asked EPA to explain why it published – and then withdrew – Read More
Anhydrous Ammonia tanks
LegislationARA: OSHA Announces PSM Formal Rulemaking Intentions
May 11, 2016
In separate communications earlier this week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced plans to conduct formal rulemaking to Read More
Crop InputsBayer: 5 Reasons We Disagree With Maryland Neonic Ban
April 12, 2016
We’re disappointed that the Maryland legislature chose not to stand up for sound science and the rights of Maryland’s homeowners Read More
Trending Articles
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Eyeing Monsanto For Possible Mega-Merger
May 16, 2016
Bayer AG is exploring a potential bid for U.S. competitor Monsanto Co. in a deal that would create the world’s Read More
Latest News
Heritage Cooperative
CropLife 100Heritage, Agland Co-op Explore Mutual Merger Interest
June 30, 2016
According to a report in The Ohio Country Journal, Heritage Cooperative and Agland Co-op have entered into negotiations to consider Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Crop InputsDow Launching New Soybean Burndown Herbicide
June 30, 2016
With the 2016 growing season nearing the halfway mark, many growers are scouting soybean fields to find unwelcome marestail plants Read More
ManagementUpdates on Glyphosate Use in the EU and Bayer/Monsanto
June 29, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the latest important developments on these crop protection fronts. Read More
Industry NewsCompass Minerals Names Protassium+ Sales Director
June 28, 2016
Compass Minerals, the producer of Protassium+ sulfate of potash, has named Scott Johnson director of sales for Protassium+ North America. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe British Leave Vote Impact On EU Agriculture
June 27, 2016
Like virtually everyone else in the world this past week, I’ve watched the global reaction to Britain’s vote to exit Read More
Valent David Nothmann
Crop InputsValent Names David Nothmann Vice President Of Marketing
June 27, 2016
Valent U.S.A. Corp. has announced the appointment of David Nothmann as vice president of marketing. Nothmann will be responsible for Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stew…
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Contributes To Mayo Clinic
June 27, 2016
BRANDT, a leading agriculture retailer and manufacturer of specialty agriculture products, has pledged a sizable donation to the Mayo Clinic Read More
ManagementReport: U.S. Farmland Values On Average Continue Gradua…
June 27, 2016
Land price movement has been in the forefront for farmers, landowners, lenders and land brokers for a decade now during Read More
AdjuvantsPrecision Laboratories Introduces Intact Xtra For Use W…
June 27, 2016
Precision Laboratories announces the launch of Intact Xtra, an adjuvant designed for applicators who want to maximize spray applications and Read More
Key Cooperative’s new liquid fertilizer, crop chemical, and seed facility in Grinnell, IA stores 1.5 million gallons of liquid fertilizer and 120,000 gallons of crop chemicals.
Retail FacilitiesKey Cooperative Facility Features The Latest In Murray …
June 27, 2016
When Key Cooperative wanted to improve the overall efficiency at its new state-of-the-art facility in Grinnell, IA, it turned to Read More
Allen Summers Asmark Institute PSM Training
EmployeesAsmark Institute Sponsors 25 ResponsibleAg Auditor Trai…
June 21, 2016
The Asmark Institute has announced plans to provide 25 scholarships through their affiliated State fertilizer and agrichemical associations to help encourage Read More
Kennebec Elevator
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Celebrates Kennebec Elevator Grand Openin…
June 21, 2016
Over 250 patrons and guests were on hand to celebrate Wheat Growers’ Kennebec Elevator grand opening. South Dakota Secretary of Read More
Land O Lakes
Industry NewsLand O’Lakes To Acquire Ceres
June 20, 2016
Land O’ Lakes, Inc. and Ceres, Inc. have announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Land O’Lakes Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To …
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
LegislationVilsack Christens WinField Crop Adventure, Talks Monsan…
June 17, 2016
The WinField Crop Adventure grand opening ceremonies at Fair Oaks Farms (near Winemac, IN) welcomed USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Read More
Crop InputsFields of the Future: WinField Doubles Down with Agri-E…
June 16, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc., joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, today will host Fields of the Future, a live broadcast about Read More