Producers approve ag policy
At the National Farmers annual farm business meeting in Kansas City, Mo., recently, members passed several farm policy planks across a broad range of farm issues. Calls for a new five-year farm bill topped the list.
1. Providing an adequate safety net in times of severe market volatility in the next farm legislation.
2. Current funding levels for crop insurance, because of its effectiveness in protecting farm incomes and role in securing operating loans.
3. Full funding for a Conservation Reserve Program that facilitates competitive payments for the land enrolled. Highly erodible and other environmentally sensitive land and early-outs should be strongly discouraged.
In dairy, members supported:
1. Implementation of a growth management program that uses price as an incentive to manage production (a form of two-tier pricing).
2. Eliminate end-product pricing as a base price for milk.
3. Eliminate end product pricing and make allowances in the Federal Orders.
4. Establish a broadly based competitive price system as the base price for milk, not just a few select plants that meet a certain criteria such as size of plant or product manufactured.
5. As a method of balancing supply with domestic usage, members support the current CWT export assistance program and urges its continuation in the future.
National Farmers members oppose any action which might otherwise alter the provisions of the Capper-Volstead Act, which may challenge the rights of producers to act in association for their mutual benefit in marketing and bargaining initiatives.
In organics, members support exemption from mandated payments into conventional commodity check-off orders. Acknowledging organic producers growing reliance on crop insurance protection, members voted in support of the concept that premium rates be commensurate with the payments available for losses incurred.
Producers also support legislation that will add transparency to futures markets and close the door to excessive speculation by tightening key investment laws, and clarifying the oversight mission of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.