The Ohio Soybean Association has joined the American Soybean Association and various farm commodity groups urging their members to reach out to lawmakers to express strong support for timely consideration by the House of H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act. They are asking members to voice their support of rapid passage of the measure to members of Congress.
The group also expressed its concern regarding the Price Loss Coverage program option included in the Commodities Title of the Committee bill. The PLC program would set high, fixed reference prices for program crops which, in some cases, exceed their historical prices and cost of production. It ties payments to producers to crops they grow in the current year, which could distort planting decisions and production if market prices fall below their support levels.
Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ashland, may offer an amendment to set reference prices at a percentage of recent average market prices, which do not exceed production costs, the group reports. The Gibbs amendment would also provide for payments on historical crop acreage bases rather than on current-year plantings. These changes would make the PLC program more market-oriented and significantly reduce the risk of distorting planting decisions and production. They would also reduce the likelihood of the program violating U.S. commitments under the WTO. And they would achieve an estimated $10 billion in savings in addition to the Committee bill.
"These changes would make the PLC program more market-oriented and significantly reduce the risk of distorting planting decisions and production," the letter notes. "They would also reduce the likelihood of the program violating U.S. commitments under the WTO. Moreover, they would achieve an estimated $10 billion in savings in addition to the Committee bill."
OSA and ASA support many of the programs included in H.R. 1947. The bill would consolidate conservation programs, reauthorize and fund agricultural research, energy, and export promotion programs, and make improvements in federal crop insurance. OSA and ASA strongly support these provisions, and ask that lawmakers oppose any amendments which would eliminate or weaken them.