Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly met with area farmers in Rensselaer Tuesday to provide an update on ag issues from Washington, but also to hear the important issues on their minds right now. The Indiana corn and soybean policy groups presented the coffee shop talk event and the farm bill was the first item of discussion. Both Donnelly and the commodity groups shared they have a sense there will be a farm bill passed that’s very similar to the current one, good news according to Indiana Soybean Alliance board member Kendell Culp.
“The question is when we’re going to get this passed as time moves on throughout the year, but we’re hearing some minor changes or tweaks to the farm bill,” Culp told HAT, “especially maybe ARC County and PLC. There could be some changes to those programs, but nothing substantial. As long as crop insurance can stay intact, of course the harvest price option is a very important option to stay intact as well offered to farmers as a risk management tool. As long as those stay in place, and I believe they will, I think we’re going to have a largely unchanged farm bill as we move forward.”
Crop insurance has been a priority for agriculture from the first day a new farm bill was talked about. Culp says Donnelly and all the other legislators they meet with in Washington know the importance of that tool.
“It has had a target on its back with this and previous administrations,” he said. “Seems like every year in a budget there would always be cuts to crop insurance, but you’ve got Senator Roberts, the chairman of the Senate Ag Committee that has been very adamant and focused on preserving crop insurance as a risk management tool for farmers. So, I feel very confident and convinced that we will continue to have a strong crop insurance program in the new 2018 farm bill.”
Donnelly and the farm audience also talked about trade and tariffs, and another ag issue with a target on its back in Culp’s words, the Renewable Fuel Standard.
“Folks from different industries are looking towards that, especially if you’re a legislator from the south for example, and an oil producing state. You’re looking at RFS and you’re targeting that.”
He said those in the Midwest want the continuation of a strong RFS. Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Growers Association, the policy organizations, sponsored the event with help from First Farmers Bank and Trust.
Hear more from Culp in the HAT interview:Kendell-Culp-at-Coffee-Shop-Talk