The AFBF proposal calls for producer's choice and a three-fold program that includes: a stacked income protection plan (STAX); an improved crop insurance program; and target prices and marketing loans. Under the proposal, all program crop farmers would have access to the marketing loan and crop insurance provisions and they would then select between a target price program and STAX to round out their safety net option.
The AFBF proposal also supports extending provisions of the STAX program for apples, potatoes, tomatoes, grapes and sweet corn. Covering these five specialty crops will benefit fruit and vegetable producers in 44 states. Eventually, Farm Bureau would like to cover all crops under a STAX program in the future.
"While we would have liked to have provided a STAX program for all commodity programs under the same terms as those provided to cotton last year in the Senate bill, funding is insufficient to do so," Stallman explained.
Because of funding limits, AFBF is proposing modifications be made to STAX for all eligible commodities. Those modifications would: reduce the crop insurance premium subsidization to 70% from 80%; not offer the multiplier option; not offer a harvest price option; allow STAX to be based on yield or revenue at the discretion of the producer; and allow purchase only as a buy-up policy with a 10-25% deductible rather than also providing for a stand-alone policy. In addition, under the STAX program suggested by Farm Bureau, no payments would be made until the county average revenue or yield fell by 10% from the historic amount.
Target Price Initiatives
A target price program for all program commodities would be available except for cotton. Due to terms of Brazil's WTO cotton case against the United States, cotton farmers would likely not be eligible for a marketing loan at the current level or any target price.