Ag Groups Gather in Washington to Discuss Concerns on 2018 Farm Bill

July 26, 2017 11:01 AM

Crop insurance, trade and farm income are in the spotlight in Washington D.C. as another Senate Agricultural Committee hearing listens to the needs of farm country.

On Tuesday, the committee heard from producers, farm organizations, lenders and crop insurance professionals on what’s working and what needs to be adjusted in the 2018 Farm Bill.

David Schemm, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), voiced concerns of fellow wheat growers and what they need to do to maintain revenue protection through the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) Program and insure the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) reference price at a good level.

“The current reference price for wheat of $5.50 per bushel is far below the cost of production,” he explained to the panel. “We urge you to increase the wheat reference price that is more reflective of the modern cost of producing the crop.”

Some cotton growers have also been vocal about financial challenges and wanting the same full risk management tools as other crops since cotton can’t qualify for PLC or ARC payments under this Farm Bill.

“For the past three years, cotton producers have struggled with low cotton prices, high production costs and financial hardships,” said Nick McMichen, an Alabama cotton producer and National Cotton Council (NCC) member. “While cotton futures market prices initially increased for a brief period earlier this year relative to year-ago levels, prices have now retreated to the mid- to upper-60 cent range.”

For a list of upcoming hearings for the U.S.  Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, click here.

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