Wheat growers outline their farm bill priorities

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2013- The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) reiterated its members' preferences for a final farm bill in a letter to House and Senate conference committee members today. NAWG emphasized a high priority for a strong crop insurance system, as well as trade export programs.

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The letter, signed by NAWG President Bing Von Bergen, also outlined NAWG's opposition to the Senate farm bill's provision requiring conservation compliance for crop insurance.

The provision would further complicate a system that “is already overburdened with substantial backlogs,” according to the wheat organization.

Additionally, NAWG opposes a provision in the Senate bill that will apply means testing to crop insurance.

“Means testing in the crop insurance program impacts everyone who purchases the policies, not just those above the adjusted gross income (AGI) levels set in the Senate bill,” Bergen wrote. “Crop insurance, like other lines of insurance, requires a broad pool of participants to function properly. Applying means testing to crop insurance will ultimately lead to fewer participants, increasing the cost for everyone.”

NAWG does support the Senate-passed version of the farm bill that includes a farm-level revenue program within the commodity title. “We urge you and other conference committee members to ensure that any reference price does not distort the market or impact planting decisions for all commodities,” the letter states.

In the trade title, NAWG specifically advocates for trade promotion programs, the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program. “As an export-dependent industry, MAP and FMD are essential to our future,” Bergen wrote.

To read the entire letter, click here.

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