A better safety net is one of things the American Soybean Association wants in the 2007 Farm Bill.
Rick Ostlie, ASA president and a Northwood, N.D., farmer, said at a press conference at Commodity Classic Thursday that Congress should set target prices for soybeans in the next Farm Bill at 130% of the 2000-2004 Olympic average price – or $6.85 per bushel, up from $5.80 per bushel. It proposes raising target prices of other crops that are below the 130% ratio, but not reduce target prices for crops that are above the ratio.
Rick Ostlie (right), president of the American Soybean Association, answers a question about groups' farm policy recommendations as Bob Metz, chairman, looks on.
Using the percentage of historic price for all commodities would put soybeans on more equal footing with wheat and corn and allow producers to respond to market signals, not government programs.
The ASA is not seeking a change in the 44 cent per bushel direct payment for soybeans.
Other things that the ASA wants in the 2007 Farm Bill include:
- More money for conservation and development of wildlife habitat on working and CRP lands. Non-environmentally sensitive lands currently enrolled in CRP should be allowed to exist.
- Extension of biodiesel tax incentives and credits.
- Creation of a National Institute of Food and Agriculture within USDA to fund food and agricultural research fund agricultural research.
- A grant program that would pay farmers to plant healthy-oil soybeans, such as low-linoleic soybeans. The grant would remove make it easier to commercialize soybeans with enhanced traits.
- Funds for development of more off-shore aquaculture, which would increase demand for soybean meal.