Thursday, June 07, 2007

Farm Bureau's Latest Farm Bill Recommendations

From Illinois Agri-News, the American Farm Bureau has formulated it's latest recommendations for the 2007 farm bill.

Highlights of the recommendations include:

* Support for maintaining the baseline funding for the commodity title at $7 billion per year and conservation title at $4.4 billion per year, rather than transferring funding from one title to another. These baselines already include sizable cuts from the 2002 farm bill funding level;

* Support for eliminating the fruit and vegetable planting prohibition and for $250 million per year in conservation program funding for specialty crop growers;

* Support for a revenue-based counter-cyclical safety net program to protect against both low prices and low yields and provide payments to farmers when they need them most;

* Support for a standing catastrophic assistance program that is integrated with a re-rated crop insurance program. Crop insurance coverage would be reduced from the current coverage level because the new standing catastrophic assistance program would cover 50 percent of losses;

* Support for retention of non-environmentally sensitive land in the Conservation Reserve Program and allowing the production of energy crops on that land. Those contract holders would be required to produce a cellulosic ethanol feedstock cover crop; and

* Opposition to any changes in farm bill payment limitations and income means-testing.

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