NCC's Jody Campiche Says Farm Bill Coverage for Cotton in the Works, But Still Long Process AheadWed, 17 Jan 2018 16:35:01 CST
While current prices in the cotton market are noticeably higher compared to recent years, Dr. Jody Campiche, director of economics and policy at the National Cotton Council, commented on the actual health of the industry remarking that there are, “still a lot of producers who are struggling and are going to have a problem meeting their operating loans for this next year, because although prices are a bit higher right now, operating costs have not gone down.”
During the Red River Crops Conference in Altus, Okla., Wednesday, Campiche spoke with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn about how the NCC is working with Congress to help cotton producers face these challenging economic times. Priority No. 1 for her organization, she says, is getting cotton covered by Title 1 safety nets in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Listen to Horn’s full interview with Campiche by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“Most producers’ total costs aren’t actually covered,” she said. “So, additional support is needed for the cotton industry. Right now, we have recommendations with the National Cotton Council for the 2018 Farm Bill for a seed cotton program.”
This program, Campiche explained, would be based on a combination of lint and cotton seed prices. However, overlapping bills passed in the Senate and the House each signifying either seed cotton or cotton seed contrary to the other as the base of coverage. This confusion has led to much discussion as to which should actually be used to determine base coverage for what would be cotton’s ARC and PLC programs.
“At this point, you know, it’s great to have either one. More support for cotton would be great,” shrugged Campiche. “Longer term, seed cotton I sour priority, because it’s based on that combination of cotton seed prices and lint prices - it provides coverage whether cotton seed prices go down or lint go down. But given the current environment and where cotton seed prices are, it’s still a great option for short term coverage for the next Farm Bill.”
Before this happens, though, Campiche says Congress must first pass a bill to fund the Supplemental Disaster Program, which sets the stage for the Farm Bill offering an idea of the appropriations available to assist producers. However, the timeline in which this might be accomplished is still unclear, with government starring at a total shutdown scheduled for this Friday unless a temporary funding bill is passed. While this Disaster bill could potentially be a part of that funding bill - Campiche says it is doubtful that the House’s already passed version will be taken up by the Senate for modification and approval before February.
In addition to their Farm Bill recommendations, the NCC is also working with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on a Gin Cost Share program for the 2016 crop, like producers had for the 2015 crop year.
“It would be a lot less funding than we had - about half the funding amount,” she said. “We’re still kind of waiting. We do think he’ll probably wait until after the Supplemental Disaster bill passes to move on it but it’s just something that is a possibility, But, it’s not a final deal yet.”
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