Canola Farmers To See Results of 2014 Farm Bill SoonTue, 05 Aug 2014 17:30:14 CDT
After a long-haul to get a Farm Bill passed, US Canola Association (USCA) Assistant Director Dale Thorenson said canola farmers can look forward to having farm safety net choices.
"Canola growers and all growers will have a choice," Thorenson said. "They will better safety net as far as a price or revenue program and they have a choice for that."
Thorenson recently spoke at the 10th Annual Canola Conference in Enid, where he told the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network's Leslie Smith about the rollout of the Farm Bill. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear Thorenson's comments With the new Farm Bill, he said in the coming months landowners will have the opportunity to reallocate base acres and update their yields.
"It's a choice and once they have all of that done then they have to choose between their price loss coverage, which is like the old countercyrical program with higher target prices or higher reference prices, or a revenue program," Thorenson said.
Once those bases are established, Thorenseon said farmers can plant whatever they want as they will be paid on their historical base acre, except for the generic cotton acres. He said cotton has moved out of the commodity title, so those acres will be tied to whatever crop is planted on those cotton base acres.
"That is a opportunity for wheat or canola or for whatever in various parts of the country to be covered under this farm program," Thorenson said. "It's a possibility here in Oklahoma and northern Texas for canola."
As farmers update their base acres, Thorenson said this will reflect the increase in canola grown in Oklahoma and Texas this will bring more stability for the industry in terms of processing and for seed production in showing this industry has become established in the Southern Great Plains.
In June US Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency added seven new Oklahoma and Texas counties that are now eligible for winter canola crop insurance. Thorsenson said this was a significant increase in crop insurance coverage.
"That was a sizable amount to expand in one year and the reason it was expanded was because there were so many written agreements requested in those counties that it became cost prohibitive and administratively very difficult to get all of them approved," Thorenson said. "So a way to expand crop insurance policies in new counties is to have enough growers requesting a written agreement and getting it in place, so they will want to try and do that some more."
Thorsenson said he expects RMA to expand winter canola crop insurance coverage to more counties, as long as there is continued interest from growers.
Through the end of the year, USCA will continue to watch 12 annual appropriations Bills that Congress must pass by September 30th, the end of the fiscal year. Thorenson said they will also continue to watch the 'Waters of the US' proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency and US Army Corps of Engineers.
Another priority is watching state labeling laws for genetically modified crops. USCA and other organizations are supporting a bill that has been introduced in the House that would preempt any state labels. Thorenson said this bill would put together perimeters for what is GMO, or what is not GMO and it would require the Food and Drug Administration review all of these traits.
"Right now it's not a requirement, but we want to get some certainty there let them review a trait to whether it is safe or not ," Thorenson said. "USDA, FDA basically they have concurred there is no significant difference or any difference at all as far as the safety of the food whether its conventional or whether its genetically modified, it's just a different form of plant breeding."
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