Farm Bill Issues
Earlier this week, the House Agriculture Committee completed its tenth hearing reviewing U.S. agriculture policy as lawmakers begin the process of writing the 2012 Farm Bill. News articles on these hearings, which have been held in Washington, D.C. and around the country, continue to unfold.
With respect to Tuesday’s hearing in South Dakota, Dan Looker reported yesterday at Agriculture Online that, “Tuesday, a House Agriculture Committee hearing on the next farm bill found at least one consistent theme: farmers there and in nearby states like USDA-supported crop insurance and don’t want the program weakened. Other new programs, such as ACRE (Average Crop Revenue Election) do need changes, they were told, even though many of the farmers who testified said they decided to enroll in ACRE last year.
“South Dakota Farmers Union president Doug Somke, who raises grain and beef near Conde, asked the panel to keep crop insurance supported at current levels when Congress writes the next farm bill in 2012.
“‘Farmers have grown to use it as a marketing tool,’ Somke said. ‘And bankers have come to use it as well.’”