Farm Bureau Committee Expresses Urgency on Passing a New Farm BillThu, 23 Feb 2012 16:56:33 CST
Oklahoma agricultural producers urgently need a new farm bill that provides a strong safety net for farm income using a combination of crop insurance, a revenue assurance program and price protection. That’s the message recently delivered by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Farm Bill Committee.
“We encourage farm groups to work together to support Cong. Lucas and Sen. Stabenow to get the new farm bill passed quickly,” committee chairman Scott Neufeld said. “We’re concerned if this is not passed by July 1, it will not be passed this year. Continued delays by Congress to pass the new farm bill will reduce the farm program’s effectiveness.”
“We strongly support completion of the 2012 farm bill and we must work together to expedite this process,” Neufeld said. “Expediency is needed to insure certainty for the future of the agricultural industry.”
The committee pointed to the recent drought that severely damaged crops in the southern High Plains, as an example of why an effective crop insurance program is needed.
“The recent history of natural disasters has proven an effective crop insurance program is the only thing that stood between producers having the chance to grow another crop and food production being severely impacted,” Neufeld said.
The committee said crop insurance needs to continue to be viable, affordable and flexible to cover a wide variety of crops and growing regions.
“We caution against a wholesale rewrite of the crop insurance program at a time when it has proven its worth and accomplished its purpose of managing risk,” Neufeld said.
The farm bill committee said producers can bear shallow loss risks that are incurred in their operation on an annual basis. A shallow loss would be a crop loss of 15 to 20 percent or less.
“Producers should have the fiscal responsibility to manage small moves in prices and production expenses,” Neufeld said. “We support a strong safety net that offers protection from steep price declines over the life of the farm bill.”
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