Thursday, January 17, 2013

Uncertainty about subsidies makes Farm Bureau drop language favored by rice and peanut farmers

During a vote on federal subsidies at the annual American Farm Bureau Federation meeting in Nashville, Southern delegates found themselves in the minority. Agri-Pulse reports that the voting body of the organization voted 179-153 for a motion supporting some types of crop insurance, but removing specific language calling for shallow loss revenue and reference prices, which Southern delegates supported. Such programs most often help Southern peanut and rice farmers. "We're not going to be drawing a line in the sand and promoting a single position," Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said. The group did support development of a revenue insurance program for peanuts, which the Arkansas delegation amended to include rice.

"It's critically important we have room as we move forward," Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Villwock said. He said the agricultural policy is entering a "new world," and "The crystal ball is as cloudy as it can be," echoing the majority's concern and uncertainty about farm programs. Members kept language supporting "catostrophic loss coverage as a first choice in policy, while noting that, 'If a catastrophic risk program is not achievable, we support producers being allowed a choice of program options,'" Agri-Pulse reports.

Agri-Pulse is subscription-only, but a free trial is available here.

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