As farm bill discussions intensify due to the timetable specified in the Budget Control Act, the American Soybean Assoc. (ASA) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) released separate recommendations for the next farm legislation.
Under ASA’s Risk Management for America’s Farmers (RMAF) proposal, Direct Payments (DP), Counter-cyclical Payments (CCP) and the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) programs would be discontinued and replaced with a shallow-loss revenue program administered through USDA’s Farm Service Agency. The RMAF program would be triggered on a farm level and cover a portion of losses between 5 percent and 20 percent for irrigated farms and 10 percent and 25 percent for non-irrigated farms. The farm’s benchmark revenue would be based on a five-year Olympic average of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s season average prices and the higher of the farm’s actual production history (APH) yield, five-year Olympic average yield, or 80 percent of the county yield. The percentage of losses that are covered under the program will be adjusted based on budget constraints. Additional details can be found at www.soygrowers.com.
Recognizing the budget constraints shaping the current farm bill debate, the AFBF proposal called for a continuation of the current farm safety net structure, with the exception of the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program. AFBF also outlined their priorities for allocating any budget cuts placed on agriculture. Within commodity programs, AFBF suggested that budget cuts could be achieved by reducing the percentage of base receiving DPs and the percentage of planted acres covered by ACRE payments. No changes were proposed for CCPs or marketing loans.
Further details emerged in the Obama Administration’s deficit reduction plan announced in mid-September. Complete legislative language and budget details are available on the NCC website.