Farm Bill a Priority for North Dakota Producers

January 29, 2017 04:25 PM

North Dakota farmers and ranchers are set on a new Farm Bill to maintain the federal programs that help keep their operations going in tough times.

North Dakota Corn Growers Association executive director Dale Ihry says there's a strong sense of need for a 2018 Farm Bill.

Corn growers held four meetings in the eastern half of the state last week to gauge what producers would like to see in U.S. farm policy, The Bismarck Tribune reported. The issues brought up in those meetings will be shared with the corn growers' national organization to form the group's policy and lobbying agenda.

A priority for producers is maintaining, and possibly improving, crop insurance. One suggestion is restructuring how payments are calculated for the popular Agriculture Risk Coverage insurance program.

That program is based on a particular crop's average yield in a county. The average yield is combined with the average price for a crop over the previous five marketing years to determine a revenue guarantee. Payments are triggered if revenue in the county falls below that guarantee.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture ARC uses USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service surveys to determine yields. But commodity organizations say issues with the survey's sampling methods and criteria result in inaccurate or inconsistent results.

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Spell Check

Bottineau, ND
1/29/2017 06:13 PM

  Funny how North Dakota is mostly Republicans, they cry small government, but they also cry when they don't get their farming handouts. Never met a farmer without a new pickup every year.

parkersburg iowa, IA
1/29/2017 11:00 PM

  i hope the tax payers are not being put on the hook for to much risk on growing corn in north dakota ,there should have been something added to the farm bill 10 years ago that if you by buy or rent land ,do it your own peril(about the time of the ethanol mandate and the subsidy push on that) and broke the cycle of government dependence and tempered the price bubbles,,

Eastern, NE
1/31/2017 10:56 AM

  Hopefully, they'll tweak a lot of things. Organic crop insurance is one of the areas rife with fraud. FCIC needs to add a basis factor in the revenue insurance program. You end up never getting what you're guaranteed that you've paid for. Peanut farmers seem to always walk away with the lion's share of payments. Wheat classes need to be taken into account with regard to the wheat program. Right now, ARC and PLC market prices are based upon a melding of HRW, HWW, SRW, HRS and HAD wheat prices. There are times when HAD wheat is several dollars per bushel higher in price than the other classes of wheat. Not all farmers can grow HAD or HRS wheat due to the climate of their physical locations. The statistics service needs to put more teeth in the surveys sent out to farmers. Farmers need to be truthful and return the surveys timely. Reference prices for all crops need to be at least 33% of the 10 year average parity price for a crop. There will also have to be a paid set aside in times of excessive commodity supply. Or, be able to raise switch grass as a biomass fuel on those set aside acres to keep ethanol production at its peak. Farmers are great producers and in bad times have to overproduce to survive. As price takers most farmers are at the mercy of speculators and those that can force the loss back to the farmer (exporters). And by the way Oeconomia, in 45 years of farming, I've only owned three pickups! Only two of those three have been new!


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