Many farm groups list crop insurance as their top priority for the next farm bill, but the organizations start to differ when it comes to other concerns, according to this week's Agri-Pulse Newsmakers.
Members of the American Farm Bureau Federation will be debating possible changes to commodity programs at the group's annual meeting, which takes place Jan. 6-11 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, said AFBF President Zippy Duvall.
“Input costs are so high, and they may want to talk about the target prices and whether or not they're at the level they should be,” said Duvall.
Mike Seyfert, president and CEO of the National Grain and Feed Association, said crop insurance and the safety net will be top of mind in farm bill discussions, but his group also will be watching what lawmakers do with the Conservation Reserve Program. The group, which represents grain processors and traders, has long been concerned about the amount or type of land taken out of production through the program.
“We're not going to want to see the cap go up, and if we can continue to move towards the working land programs and the land that's in CRP being more that marginal land or grasslands, not productive prime farmland, that's going to be a real priority for us," he said.
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The National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association would like to see funding increased in the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program, components of the farm bill trade title that are designed to increase exports of U.S. commodities.
“We would like to see that double because [Congress] [hasn’t] changed that in about 20 years … Inflation has cut into those dollars in a big way and that affects all commodity groups, that affects everybody, and it's a way to increase demand outside of the United States,” said Chris Edgington, chairman of the NCGA's Corn Board.
“We need diversity in our markets,” said Kevin Scott, president of ASA. “A lot of our soybeans go to China right now, which is a great market for us and we want to continue to grow that, but we also need other options in our foreign markets.”
This week’s show also takes a look at the top farm bill priorities from animal ag groups and biofuels organizations. Watch the full show here.
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