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Farm group supports Farmer-Owned Reserves policy

The National Farmers Organization's Executive Board announced its support for a Farmer-Owned Reserves policy proposed by National Farmers Union and the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center at Univ. of Tennessee recently.

"National Farmers Organization has supported re-enactment of a farmer-owned grain reserve for several years, and this new study by Dr. Daryll Ray confirms the benefits it would offer farmers and consumers, while saving tax dollars," said National Farmers Ag Policy Analyst Gene Paul.

Many farm groups believe funds available for the 2012 farm bill will be lower than in the past, and are searching for ways to maintain a farm safety net for producers.

NFU's new policy approach combines the following options:

--Farmer-owned reserves;

--Increased loan rates;


--Elimination of direct payments; and

--Reduced reliance on other government payment instruments.

"In view of all the budget concerns in Congress, this proposal offers a method to help drive down costs of the next farm bill," Paul said. In the reserve, farmers would be paid at commercial storage rates, and it could not be brought back into the market for less than 160 percent of the loan rate.

During the study period of 1998-2010, the farmer-owned reserves approach would have moderated grain price volatility, and government payments would have been cut more than one-half.

National Farmers provides group marketing, price negotiation and risk management to the nation's farmers and ranchers.

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