The American Farm Bureau Federation sent a farm bill proposal to Capitol Hill this week that offers a diverse mix of risk management and safety net tools to benefit a wide range of farms and it saves $23 billion compared to the cost of continuing the current program.
“We’ve tried to look at providing farmers a three-legged safety net stool where every farmer would have crop insurance and marketing loans available to them,” said Congressional Relations Director Mary Kay Thatcher. The third leg would let farmers choose between a modified STAX (stacked income protection) provision, or a target price program.
Thatcher says the plan approved by the FB board over the weekend saves 23-billion over the current bill – the same as the senate bill last year.
Interview with Mary Kay Thatcher of AFBF
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke to the North American Agricultural Journalists annual meeting on April 8, covering a variety of important issues, including immigration and getting a new food, farm and jobs bill.
“I believe we will have a bill this year because we have to have a bill this year,” Vilsack said, noting the need to resolve issues such as Brazil’s WTO case against the cotton program. As to when it gets done – “I don’t know when Congress is going to act,” said the secretary. “I know what the ag chairs have said and that is that they’re anxious to get started now.”
Listen to his full remarks and Q&A from reporters here: Secretary Vilsack at NAAJ
WASHINGTON (Nov. 20, 2006) — (AgNewsWire) With ethanol demand at record highs and existing strong food use of corn, some experts are wondering where the extra corn will come from. A new study released today by the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy (National Center) suggests that biotechnology plays an important role in meeting this increased demand for corn production.
According to the study, U.S. farmers gained an additional 8.3 billion pounds of yield last year due to biotech crops, including an extra 7.6 billion pounds of corn production, a 29 percent increase over 2004’s harvest. Since the commercialization of plant biotechnology in the late 1990s, corn production has benefited by an extra 39 billion pounds of yield, equivalent to 1.9 billion gallons of ethanol production. These continued yield increases will be a key factor in meeting future demand as corn prices hit 10-year highs and corn used for ethanol production is predicted to jump 34 percent in 2007.
“The study indicates we have been able to make significant advances in corn production through biotechnology-derived varieties,” says Jill Long-Thompson, chief executive officer of the National Center and an Indiana farmer. “Energy independence is imperative for our nation’s future. Utilizing renewable sources like corn for energy needs helps achieve these goals and supports our nation’s farmers.”
Washington, DC – (AgNewsWire) On the same week as the 73rd anniversary of the first farm bill (May 12, 1933), two former Secretaries of Agriculture under Republican and Democratic administrations and two Midwestern farmer leaders today endorsed new, visionary policy recommendations for the 21st century contained in a report released today by American Farmland Trust (AFT). Entitled Agenda 2007: A New Framework and Direction for U.S. Farm Policy, the new AFT report is a product of more than a year of consultation with hundreds of farmers, ranchers, economists and policy experts. Agenda 2007 offers guidelines and policy recommendations for the next farm bill. It was developed to respond to mounting budget deficits, the trade distortions of existing policies, the inequitable distribution of farm bill benefits and insufficient focus on infrastructure investment and on conservation, environmental, energy and other programs of great potential benefit to rural America. (Full Release)