The National Corn Growers Association Public Policy Action Team on Thursday reviewed its revenue-based 2007 farm bill draft proposal with commodity group representatives in
"We are focused on refining a proposal that offers the potential of a more comprehensive protection against crop losses, depressed markets and rising production costs," says PPAT Chairman Steve Pigg of the team's review of a revenue-based program presented by AgRisk Management, LLC. "If this proposal is to gain support from other ag groups, implementation details will need to fit the desires of those groups, and it is essential we get their input."
Reviewing the draft plan and providing input were Dale Schuler, National Association of Wheat Growers president; Bart Ruth, American Soybean Association Farm Bill Task Force chairman; Ron Heck, ASA Farm Bill Task Force member; Dale Thorenson, U.S. Canola Association director and Craig Hill, Iowa Farm Bureau vice president.
The multi-tiered revenue-based program concept is designed to provide a broader safety net for farmers and cover both price and yield, Pigg says, adding the concept protects farmers with greater variability in their yields. The current farm bill offers a producer protection against adverse markets and crop losses through a combination of price-based support programs and federal crop insurance.
"From the first review of the proposal at Corn Congress in July, a lot of questions surfaced from the delegates, and we are in the process of going through those comments and trying to find answers for them," he says.
Additionally, the PPAT has authorized AgRisk Management, Inc., to provide a study showing the impact to other commodities besides corn, such as wheat.
"We are very interested in continuing our discussion with farm groups about this proposal and other farm bill proposals that may come along," Schuler says. "Wheat growers need a farm program that continues to put more emphasis on direct payments. But NAWG recognizes that we need a better price support mechanism because the loan deficiency payments and countercyclical program has not worked for wheat growers."
"Every body is reluctant to change. Members of Congress are reluctant; producers are reluctant," Pigg says. "The PPAT realizes change does not come easy; and looking at this program, we know this will be a huge task. But we are looking for a program that is beneficial for producers and taxpayers and improves safety net programs."