January 24, 2020

Secretary Vilsack; Trade Issues; and the Agricultural Economy

Secretary Vilsack

DTN Political Correspondent Jerry Hagstrom reported earlier this week (link requires subscription) that, “Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the National Cotton Council Monday he does not plan to change the farm subsidy payment limitation regulations the Bush administration wrote for 2009, and even though the Obama administration is reviewing the regulations, Vilsack declined to promise there would be changes for 2010 and beyond that the cotton growers would like to see.

“Farm groups such as the National Cotton Council are lamenting the notion that USDA is changing the rules from last year based on the farm bill, but potentially could make more changes to the payment rules next year as well. This would mean farmers would have to meet different sets of rules for 2008, 2009 and possibly 2010 and beyond. Further, some groups feel rule changes implemented by the Bush administration were tighter than necessary to comply with language in the farm bill.

Vilsack’s statements led new NCC Chairman Joe Hardwick, a Newellton, La., cotton grower, to call on Congress to pass a bill to force Vilsack to use the old 2008 regulations for this year and write new regulations to begin in 2010. Payment limits are an issue for all large farmers, but especially for cotton growers.”