NAWG's Top Hand Chandler Goule Takes the Temperature of Policy Leaders in DC on Next Farm BillMon, 19 Feb 2018 13:45:44 CST
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays had the chance to catch up with Chandler Goule, chief executive officer of the National Association of Wheat Growers, during the American Farmers & Ranchers Convention this past weekend where Goule updated members on current issues facing the wheat industry. Hays and Goule touched on several topics during their conversation, particularly though the status of the upcoming Farm Bill. You can listen to their entire conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
At the moment, many are speculative about the likelihood of the next Farm Bill being complete on time, as is historically not generally the case. However, Goule is somewhat cautiously optimistic about the proceedings thus far, drawing from recent conversations with policy leaders in Washington.
“There’s a lot of positive comments coming out of both the House and Senate agriculture committees right now,” he said, acknowledging the House’s intentions to move a bill out of committee during the first quarter of 2018. “I don’t want to be discouraging; I think that’s a great timeline. However, we heard a little different story on the Senate side - that infrastructure would have to move before the Farm Bill does.”
This conversation with Senate leaders occurred during a recent fly-in meeting in Washington, DC where all 21-member states of NAWG attended to advocate on behalf of wheat growers nationwide. Goule says it is probably a good thing for the House to move first at this point, believing it might “put some fire behind the Senate to bring their bill together.”
He continued, “I hope we get one done on time, but those comments I heard on the Senate side lead me to believe that we could still be pushing that timeline pretty close.”
Regarding the changes to the next Farm Bill that Goule and the Association is pressing for include above all a close evaluation of the underlying program changes to ARC - whether it is yields, plugs, RMA data versus NASS data, etc. says Goule. NAWG also intends to push for higher prices under PLC which he insists will bring more equitable risk management to the wheat industry. Maintaining a strong crop insurance program (regardless the President’s budget outline) is too a top priority. Goule says other outlying concerns pertain to keeping a solid conservation title intact and addressing credit and trade as well. All of these areas, Goule says are being well represented so far in early talks.
“We have good champions with the Senate and House Chairs and ranking members as well as with Congressman Frank Lucas, who is still on the committee and fighting for our farmers,” Goule remarked. “So, I think we will come out with a strong Farm Bill. Again, the question will come back to timing and what can be done to make sure wheat has an equitable safety net compared to corn and soy.”
You can listen to Goule and Hays discuss the upcoming Farm Bill more in depth, as well as other topics including the loss of wheat acres to competing crops and also matters of trade, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below.
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