From The Editor
Nov. 18, 2011
Hello Pro Farmer Members!
Another growing season is off and running! No... not here. I'm talking about in South America. And with the start of another growing season, we're starting another run of the Pro Farmer Crop Tour newsletter.
In the November issue of Crop Tour, we finalize the 2011 U.S. growing season with some observations of our own and a final report from Pro Farmer's crop reporters in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska. We also provide some details on the quick start to the 2011-12 South American growing season from PF consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier as well as his current estimates of key South American corn and soybean crops. Make sure you check out the Crop Tour newsletter.
Also in this week's newsletter we provide the an update on a farm bill agreement reached between the leaders of the House and Senate Ag Committees. There are some dramatic changes in the proposed plan... no more base acres; no direct payment; no SURE; no ACRE.
Revenue-Protection (RP) payments, when triggered, would be paid on 60% of actual planted acres and the payment would be triggered by a combination of yield and price at the farm level. Wow... if it works.
And it's very unlikely the new program would be compliant under the World Trade Organization (WTO). Reason: Payments would be determined by actual plantings and actual price. That means the program could influence producers planting decisions, which means the program could be "market-distorting." That's a no-no in the farm policy world... but it's only a no-no if you are trying to write farm policy you expect to be a round for a long time. If odds are good the policy will be changed before a multi-year challenge through the WTO would wrap up... then some seem to think it's okay to initiate such policies.
There's no telling if this plan will end up as actual farm law, but it will be an interesting process to watch if lawmakers do make these proposals actual law.
That's it for this week...
Have a great weekend!!