USWA's Doug Goyings Says Farm Bill Action Needed as Industry Makes Urgent Call for FMD FundingTue, 27 Nov 2018 10:56:27 CST
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn recently had the chance to catch up with Doug Goyings, vice chairman of the US Wheat Associates. Goyings shared his thoughts on some of the recent political developments that have occurred in regard to the midterm elections and how those events will affect the outcome of the next Farm Bill as well as the organization’s own foreign marketing efforts. You can listen to their complete conversation recorded during the 2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasters Convention, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
From his perspective as a member of the USWA’s Executive Committee, Goyings says one the most crucial things for their organization right now is getting a new Farm Bill passed as soon as possible.
“As of September 30th, when the Farm Bill expired, our funding for foreign market development is gone - unless we can get a new Farm Bill written,” Goyings said. “Even if they extend the current Farm Bill… that will not help us because that is not a baseline issue. So, they are going to have to do something to get Foreign Market Development dollars back in there.”
One of the major implications that has occurred as a result of the midterm elections is that the House Agriculture Committee will soon facilitate a transition in its leadership now that the Chamber is controlled by the Democrats. At the beginning of the year, the current Ranking Member of the Committee, Collin Peterson, will replace Michael Conaway as Chairman of the Committee. Goyings admitted he is somewhat skeptical of what this change in leadership will mean for the prospect of a smooth process in getting the Farm Bill passed.
“It’ll be interesting to get it done by the end of the year,” he remarked. “Republicans have to stick together. They could pass it. The biggest thing is the work requirement which is already in the bill. They just need to put some teeth in it so they can enforce it.”
Regarding trade policy, Goyings says he appreciates the aggressive stance that the Administration has taken to open markets to US ag products, but says it is Russia that is truly acting as an anchor around the neck of the US wheat industry currently. Since harvest, Russia has front loaded global export markets with an exorbitant amount of wheat - leaving the US or any other country for that matter little room to play. However, the expectation is that Russia will soon run out of exportable wheat by around the first of the new year. Once this happens, Goyings is confident the US will have an opportunity to capitalize on the void that Russia’s absence will leave in the world market place.
“It would be great if Russia would shut off their exports so we’d have a better chance in that region,” he said. “We definitely have the wheat available and it’s higher quality wheat, too.”
According to Goyings, one of the major US competitors in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia, had a very short harvest this year and says the Aussies will be concentrating their efforts on retaining their strongest markets. He says this will give the US a chance to absorb the market share Australia is unable to supply this year.
However, Goyings reiterated that in order to nail this prospect down, FMD funds will be needed - or in other words - a new Farm Bill. This issue was a central topic at the Wheat Industry’s Fall Conference held earlier this fall in Florida, where former USWA employee and current Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the US Trade Representative’s Office Gregg Doud, ensured industry leaders he would advocate those interests in Washington.
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