Sorghum, corn, wheat, soy, equipment dealers talk farm bill priorities
By Jerry Hagstrom, The Hagstrom Report
|ORLANDO, Fla. — A panel of leaders of the National Sorghum Producers, the National Corn Growers Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers, the American Soybean Association and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers presented their priorities for the next farm bill during a panel discussion at the Commodity Classic here on Friday morning.|
|Craig Meeker, chairman of the National Sorghum Producers, was the most outspoken about the need for more money for the next farm bill than is in current spending.|
Meeker, a Wellington, Kan., producer, said, “2022 was a dumpster fire for us in the sorghum belt,” with the worst crop yield since 1960.“
Show me the money,” Meeker said. “How do we have a relevant bill without new money?,” he asked.
“We are going after new money. We are going to get it,” he added.
|National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag, National Association of Wheat Growers President Nicole Berg and American Soybean Association President Daryl Cates all cited maintaining crop insurance as a top priority.|
“We always have individuals that want to take it away from us,” Haag, an Eden Valley, Minn., producer, said, speaking of crop insurance.
But Berg, a Paterson, Wash., producer, also said, “What we need is a farm with a safety net without the gaping holes we have now.”
|Cates, an Illinois producer, noted that during the Trump administration trade war with China that resulted in reduced U.S. agricultural exports, the situation “never triggered” Title I subsidy payments.|
“That needs to be fixed,” he said.
Cates also said the Foreign Market Development Program and the Market Access Program, which are used to promote U.S. agricultural products overseas, need to be continued.
|Bill Hurley, chairman of the board of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, said his members are focused on helping farmers get a farm bill that includes a safety net, crop insurance and biofuels programs, but also want to work with the federal government to advance the use of precision technology on farm equipment.|
That means improved rural broadband internet, said Hurley, vice president for distribution in the Americas at AGCO, a manufacturer of agricultural equipment.
Farmers can’t get “full value” from precision equipment unless they have broadband, and in some cases “can’t use it at all,” Hurley said.
|Hurley also said the farm bill should include a loan program to assist agricultural producers in purchasing precision agriculture equipment.|
Berg said that people in agriculture are a small group but can be a loud voice.
“We need everybody hitting Capitol Hill to tell our story,” Berg said.
Ag & Politics