Cotton growers are pleased with the House version of a new farm bill so far.
Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. of Lubbock, Texas is applauding the U.S. House Agriculture Committee for their timely and swift passage of its Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, known as FARRM, which was approved with a bipartisan vote of 35-11.
A High Plains cotton grower and agricultural leader says that FARRM is seen positively by Texas cotton producers.
"This bill addresses our producers' primary concerns—price protection and a strong crop insurance program,' says PCG President Craig Heinrich, a Slaton, Texas cotton producer. "We appreciate the committee's hard work in getting FARRM passed quickly and in particular, the leadership of chairman (Frank) Lucas and Ranking Member (Collin) Peterson."
Heinrich says PCG hopes the new farm bill process can now move swiftly during the rest of the summer.
"We hope to see the process continue to move forward in order to have a policy in place before the current farm bill's expiration on September 30," Heinrich says.
The House Agriculture Committee's bill includes key provisions for cotton.
Producers would have a choice between the Stacked Income Protection Plan—called STAX—which was created by the National Cotton Council, and the Supplemental Coverage Option, first proposed by U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) of Lubbock back in 2008. Both of these options are in the House bill's crop insurance title.
The STAX plan includes a reference price of $0.6861 per pound for cotton.
"Maintaining a reference price is of critical importance to High Plains' cotton producers," says PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett.
PCG also applauds the inclusion to establish enterprise units for irrigated and non-irrigated acreage, beginning with the 2013 crop year, and also the opportunity to elect different coverage levels by practice, starting with the 2014 crop year.