Senators Brown (D-Ohio), Thune (R-S.D.), Durbin (D-Ill.), and Lugar (R-Ind.) have proposed the Aggregate Risk and Revenue Management (ARRM) legislation, S. 1626, that would seek to reform the commodity support programs that are part of the farm safety net.
American Farmland Trust’s (AFT) vision of a modern safety net acknowledges a role for the federal government in helping farmers manage risk, but supports a system based largely on market forces.
In addition, any properly constructed program includes accountability measures to receive assistance, and minimizes economic distortion without encouraging production in areas that cannot be farmed in an environmentally sustainable manner.
We believe that agricultural risk management should be a partnership between private crop insurance that lets producers manage annual farm level risks, along with a revenue-based program that serves to manage multi-year risks that broadly affect markets, risks for which no producer can plan.
Upon our initial examination of the bill, it appears to meet our criteria for a modern safety net.
After further analysis, we hope that it meets these criteria and builds on steps taken in the 2008 farm bill to create a more effective revenue-based safety that helps farmers when they need assistance, better serves taxpayers, and appropriately protects the environment. Achieving that, we expect to enthusiastically support its passage.
EDITOR’S NOTE — American Farmland Trust is the nation’s leading conservation organization dedicated to saving America’s farm and ranch land, promoting environmentally sound farming practices and supporting a sustainable future for farms. Since its founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, AFT has helped save millions of acres of farmland from development and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more. AFT’s national office is located in Washington, DC. Phone: 202-331-7300. For more information, visit mailto:www.farmland.org.