ASA Concerned by Priorities of New Farm Bill

Several aspects of Senate bill are not favored by soybean growers.

Published on: Oct 24, 2007

The Senate Agriculture is scheduled to begin mark-up of their farm bill Wednesday morning, and while the American Soybean Association is glad the process is moving forward, they have some reservations about policy priorities and support levels for soybean programs in the bill that is going before the committee.

ASA President John Hoffman, a soybean producer from Waterloo, Iowa says, "There are several areas of major concern to soybean producers that need to be reconsidered or eliminated."

Of chief concern to ASA is the $3 billion baseline reduction of the commodities title of the bill, which has been put into other titles. Also the target price set for soybeans in the bill is far less than the ASA proposal of $6.85.

"ASA does not believe that a $6.00 target price provides an adequate income safety net for soybean producers or a level of equity with other program crops," Hoffman said. "We believe the soybean target price needs to be increased to a minimum of $6.30 per bushel, and wish to work with committee members, to increase the target price to this level either in mark-up or in conference."

The proposed Average Crop Revenue program's recourse loan is also drawing fire from ASA. Hoffman says they want it eliminated because of the very negative precedent it would represent as an alternative to the marketing loan program.

ASA also has issues with proposed changes to Loan Deficiency Payments, Marketing Loan Gains and lack of funding for biodiesel in the energy title of the bill. However, Hoffman says they are committed to completion of a new farm bill this year and are willing to work with the committee and its staff to see it enacted in a timely fashion.