American Farm Bureau Goes on Record to Support Designation of Cottonseed as an Oilseed and Eradication of Wild HogsWed, 13 Jan 2016 02:30:02
On Tuedsday, delegates to the 97th annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau worked their way through a thick book that includes existing policy for the general farm organization, as well as new policies that are being put into place for the first time here in Orlando. With just a couple of exceptions, the delegates moved through the issues in a rapid fire fashion, with the discussion over designating cottonseed as an oilseed taking the most time of any single issue.
Delegates discussed the pros and cons of going on record urging the Secretary to make that designation. Several farmers from the midwest were concerned about the cost of adding cottonseed to the list of commodities that would be elgible to participate in either the Price Loss Coverage or Agricultural Risk Coverage options. An amendment was offered to push the decision on including cottonseed as an oilseed off to the next Farm Bill. However, southern growers quickly blasted that idea, saying that many farmers growing cotton might not make it that long without help.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Tom Buchanan spoke in favor of the designation- saying cotton farmers across the country need this help- and he says that he has talked with Chief Economist of the House Ag Committee, Bart Fischer, who was a key player in writing the 2014 Farm Law- and Buchanan says that Fischer believes that this is doable and that the Secretary has the authority without reopening the 2014 Farm Law.
One cotton producer delegate offered a confession to fellow delegates as he made the case for the cottonseed designation- saying that the cotton industry missed the mark in the design of the STAX program, which was supposed to help replace the traditional farm safety net for producers. He told delegates that "STAX is a failure, producers are not signing up" and he added that producers desperately need the help that the designation would provide.
Another issue that Oklahoma had a great deal of interest in was the resolution offered to the national organization by Oklahoma- the eradication of feral hogs. Delegates adopted the language submitted by Oklahoma, which states "we support USDA takoing action through the administrative rules process to end the transportation of live feral hogs in the United States. We support the eradication of feral hogs as an invasive species. All landowners should be encouraged to eradicate feral hogs on their land by any means possible."
Tom Buchanan also spoke about the need to eliminate wild hogs, saying he understands the relucance of asking for federal government involvement these days- but in the case of transporting hogs from one state to another- their help is needed.
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays talked with Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Tom Buchanan about these issues that delegates approved. You can hear their conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
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