January 26, 2020

Farm Bill; Ag Economy; Biofuels; Regulations; and Budget Issues

Farm Bill Issues

Julie Harker reported earlier this week at Brownfield that, “The head of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives says the 2012 Farm Bill faces ‘stiff headwinds.’  NCFC President and CEO Chuck Conner told farm broadcasters at the annual NAFB Washington Watch that the upcoming Farm Bill would be the most challenging there has ever been. With the budget deficit problem, he says, there will be cuts in ag spending.”

An audio replay of Mr. Conner’s entire presentation was included at the Brownfield link.

During his remarks, the former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture provided a very interesting budget analysis with respect to the next Farm Bill. Mr. Conner highlighted the potential implications for direct payments and crop insurance that updated budget parameters could have in the unfolding Farm Bill debate.  To listen to a portion of Mr. Conner’s comments on this issue, just click here (MP3- 3:59).

Mr. Conner also provided additional insightful comments about crop insurance and the changing perception of crop insurance among agricultural producers as a key variable in the overall safety net.  Increasingly, some producers in certain geographic areas appear to be more comfortable with crop insurance potentially eclipsing some Title I programs as the primary mechanism for risk management.  Mr. Conner noted that the more positive tone that he is hearing from producers today on crop insurance is somewhat different than what he heard during USDA listening sessions that were part of the last Farm Bill debate.   A portion of Mr. Conner’s discussion on this development can be heard here (MP3- 3:09).