Farm group reaction to the House version of the Farm Bill has been generally positive. Indiana Farm Bureau released a statement praising the work of the House Ag committee, “We are optimistic that these positive developments will lead to the passage of a long-term farm bill yet this year. The non-partisan, balanced approach to budget reduction is to be commended. Knowing what kind of safety-net there will be in 2014 provides market certainty for agriculture and is important for all sectors of the economy.” With both the House and Senate ready to begin floor debate on a 5 year Farm Bill, IFB says both versions provide a safety net for Indiana farmers, “Indiana Farm Bureau especially thanks Sen. Joe Donnelly for his work on the Senate Agriculture Committee in moving its version of a five-year farm bill forward.”
National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson said corn growers are well served by the proposed legislation, but remained concerned about the inclusion of target prices in both the House and Senate bills, “While we are pleased the process is moving forward, NCGA remains extremely concerned with the Committee’s decision to adopt a fixed-target-price program that moves U.S. farm policy away from the market-oriented reforms that have made possible a robust rural economy. It is also disappointing the Committee failed to use this opportunity to ensure a Revenue Loss Coverage program that is a genuine risk management option for producers.”
The American Soybean Association, however, was please that target prices were included in the legislation. ASA President Danny Murphy said, “ASA is very pleased that the farm bill is moving forward, and we applaud Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Peterson, as well as the entire Committee, for their work on the bill. The House bill contains several key ASA priorities including provisions to strengthen crop insurance and continue our overseas marketing programs. We remain concerned with the bill’s inclusion of a price-based program under which payments are tied to current plantings, and the potential planting distortions this program could cause if market prices fall. That said, we believe these differences can be ironed out, either on the House floor or in conference with the Senate.” Murphy noted that ASA was particularly pleased that Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) offered and spoke to an amendment that would have decoupled payments under the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program from current-year plantings in order to avoid production distortions.