ASA encourages Senate commodity title in a new farm bill

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, December 11, 2012- The American Soybean Association (ASA) reached out to leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees on Monday to provide its views on potential provisions in a comprehensive five-year farm bill during the “fiscal cliff” negotiations.

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In a letter from ASA President Danny Murphy, ASA outlined its support for the Senate's Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) program, while criticizing the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) option included in the House Agriculture Committee's bill.

The PLC program “establishes much higher and disproportionate reference or target prices that bear little relation to recent average market prices or production costs,” stated ASA. “Moreover, by tying payments to crops that are actually grown in the current year, the PLC option has the potential to significantly distort planting decisions, production, commodity prices, and government program costs in the event market prices fall.”

ASA cited an analysis by AgRisk Management, LLC that states “soybean farmers would receive less protection than producers of other crops, and the soybean share of crop production in almost all regions would be adversely affected.” 

ASA's letter concluded that “if this option is included in the final farm bill, payments must be decoupled from current-year production and tied to historical crop acreages.”    

The organization also noted provisions it supports included in both the House and Senate versions of the new farm bill, including maintaining the current federal crop insurance program and adding the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), as well as agreements in the conservation title, authorization of the MAP and FMD export promotion programs and renewal of research, biofuels, and biobased product program authorities.

A transcript of the letter is available by clicking here.


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