Aug 30, 2014
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April 2014 Archive for PFA Pioneer Blog

RSS By: Chip Flory, Pro Farmer

This is a private blog for Pioneer.

CBO: PLC payouts to top ARC through 2024

Apr 17, 2014

Pro Farmer Extra

- From the Editors of Pro Farmer newsletter -

April 17, 2014

CBO: PLC payouts to top ARC through 2024

Projected payouts under the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) farm program option are forecast to total $15.915 billion over Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 through 2024; Ag Risk Coverage (ARC) county payments are expected to total $6.299 billion and individual ARC payments are forecast at $4.365 billion, according to updated projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The projections assume the following percentage of base acres will be enrolled in ARC program options: 40.6% corn, 49.1% soybeans and 27.5% wheat. Those figures are based on updated base acres.

Some of the increase in projected PLC spending may be due to lower ARC participation assumptions. CBO may be anticipating that if prices start to soften, the shallow-loss ARC protection that’s capped at 10% of revenue will look less attractive, as was the case with ACRE in the 2008 Farm Bill.

Spending on ARC and PLC from 2014-2023 was projected to be $27.2 billion when the 2014 Farm Bill passed (relative to the May 2013 CBO baseline). That number has been revised to $24.3 billion. CBO says a significant part of that decrease is due to incorporating its estimates of future sequestration, but that only accounts for about two-thirds of the extra cuts. Participation assumptions and changes in market conditions account for the remainder. CBO sources confirm that at least some of the other reductions came from changes to the supply/demand and price situation plus other “technical” changes. CBO’s cost estimates also signal it is projecting higher average prices than others for most crops in most years.

The biggest CBO projection changes are for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). The May 2013 CBO baseline showed an estimated $764 billion in spending on SNAP from 2014-2023. The farm bill, which was negotiated under that baseline, claimed to reduce that amount by $8 billion over that time period. Now, CBO has slashed its estimated spending nearly $30 billion for 2014-2023 to $735 billion.

Follow Pro Farmer Editorial Director Chip Flory on Twitter: @ChipFlory

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EPA making waves in the farm community (again).

Apr 04, 2014

Pro Farmer Extra

- From the Editors of Pro Farmer newsletter -

April 4, 2014

EPA making waves in the farm community (again)

A recent poll on revealed that 94% of respondents (presumably mostly farmers) believe the EPA is overreaching its authority when it comes to a proposed plan for the Clean Water Act. Well... EPA seems to be making a habit of making its own interpretations of laws that sometimes don't fit with the Congressional intent of those laws. This week, Pro Farmer associate editor Meghan Pedersen and Washington Consultant Jim Wiesemeyer offer updates on two of the most controversial issues.

Final 2014 RFS expected by June

Despite a proposed rule that would roll back the biofuel mandates in the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the Obama administration “remains committed to biofuels” Administrator Gina McCarthy recently told a forum held by the American Council on Renewable Energy. McCarthy has also promised a final 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by June, or perhaps sooner. McCarthy also said she hopes EPA can propose the 2015 RFS earlier to reduce uncertainty in the sector.

Sources continue to tell us to expect a 2014 RFS for corn-based ethanol that is between the legislated level and EPA’s proposal.


Proposed waters rule backlash

“Dismay” was expressed by the American Farm Bureau Federation following its review of the 371-page proposed rule from EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that defines waters of the U.S. under the Clean Water Act (CWA). AFBF President Bob Stallman notes, “EPA says its new rule will reduce uncertainty, and that much seems to be true: there isn’t much uncertainty if most every feature where water flows or stands after a rainfall is federally regulated.”

House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) also cited the proposed waters rule as a priority when it comes to providing producers with regulatory relief during a hearing on the rural economy last week. He noted the administration’s regulatory initiatives often originate from those with “no frame of reference for how farmers produce our nation’s food supply.” He cited EPA’s proposed definition of waters protected under the CWA as the latest example of this: “Under this proposal, small streams and ditches would be regulated even if they are miles away from navigable waters, even if they are dry most of the time.” This jeopardizes producers and “defies common sense,” he said.

We agree!

Follow Pro Farmer Editorial Director Chip Flory on Twitter: @ChipFlory

To see more of what Pro Farmer has to offer, be sure to visit

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