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With Unfinished Farm Bill, Groups Make Title 1 Plea

With Unfinished Farm Bill, Groups Make Title 1 Plea

Soy, corn and canola interests prod legislators on Title I compromise

Three commodity groups proposing a compromise on Title 1 legislation in the 2013 Farm Bill made yet another appeal to lawmakers Tuesday regarding their proposition.

The groups, the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association and the U.S. Canola Association, said in a letter delivered to farm bill negotiators that they would "reluctantly oppose" a new bill and support an extension of 2008 policy if commodity payments are tied to current-year plantings.

Instead, the groups support a plan they proposed last week, which would use a rolling average of recent-year plantings to determine base acres under both revenue and price-based programs.

Soy, corn and canola interests prod legislators on Title I compromise

Recoupling payments under a price-based program, they said, can undercut producer income and disadvantage U.S. exports.

The groups also expressed concern that a recoupling could instigate government-induced production surpluses and lead to World Trade Organization challenges.

"We very much hope that Conferees on the farm bill will find common ground that can be supported by producers of all crops in all regions of the country," the groups wrote. "While difficult, this approach would leave sufficient funding in the commodities title to write a new farm program at such time as consensus can be achieved."

Last week, in a letter announcing the compromise, the groups suggested their plan was a "novel approach" that addresses both the needs and the concerns of farmers growing all program crops.

"We offer it as a solution which, while not the first choice of any of our organizations, is a compromise we can all support and which can help move the farm bill process to a successful conclusion," they wrote.

Bicameral farm bill discussion has been ongoing well before the conference committee formally met on Oct. 30, though closed-door meetings have yielded little news on the bill's progress. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has suggested that if Congress cannot make a decision before leaving for recess in December, consumer pushback is likely due to a return to 1940s permanent law requiring higher milk supports and therefore higher consumer costs for dairy goods.

TAGS: USDA Soybean
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