While the ongoing debate in Washington over the House farm bill is important, the farm bill itself may not be that big of a priority for farmers. That was the general consensus on today’s Agritalk Farmer Forum. When asked by host Chip Flory all three farmers on today’s forum said the bill isn’t that high on their priority list, although there are parts that pique their interest.
Casey Schuhmacher of Nebraska said he is most interested in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) changes. He says in his area most of the CRP contracts are set to expire in the next two years. Darren Ihnen of South Dakota says that crop insurance is what interests him the most, but outside of that he says the bill, “just isn’t on the radar like it was”. Steve Pitstick of Illinois agreed saying, “it’s just not a big deal like it used to be.”.
Flory and the group also discussed trade related issues. Ihnen, a past president of the NCGA, said there is a lot to be gained for farmers through re-negotiating trade deals and that he is confident it will, “work for our favor in the end,”. Schuhmacher cited numbers in the hog market, which has gone up about 11%, as a sign that negotiating will help markets. However, he also acknowledged that not all markets have responded favorably, such as sorghum which has been hit hard. Pitstick also supports the President’s tactics. He said he read Trump’s book Trump: The Art of the Deal to get insight. He said Trump’s tactics are, “totally different in what we’ve dealt with most of my life”.
Finally, Flory asked the guys their thoughts about the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), and the message was unanimous, they agree the Ethanol industry is very important to farmers and something needs to be done about waivers being given to large refiners.
Click on the player above to listen to the AgriTalk broadcast.