NCGA delegates endorse revenue-based safety net

Delegates to the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Corn Congress are recommending NCGA call on Congress to approve a farm safety net based on crop revenue, rather than commodity prices.

The delegates endorsed the proposal during the NCGA Corn Congress, March 3 in Tampa, Fla. The 2007 farm bill proposal calls for adoption of a county-level revenue counter-cyclical program to complement existing federal crop insurance in the Commodity Title.

Corn grower delegates engaged in a spirited and lively debate on the proposal and in the end voted in strong support of a policy resolution that states:

“The 2007 Farm Bill Commodity Title for corn, and potentially other commodities, should provide for a county revenue counter-cyclical program integrated with crop insurance that is market sensitive while providing a safety net.”

“Our proposal was always a work in progress, and after hearing back rather extensively from the countryside, from other industry leaders, policymakers and economists, our growers have tweaked our original proposal to still focus on a revenue-based approach to the Commodity Title,” said Ken McCauley, NCGA president.

“The agriculture landscape has changed and we need a farm bill that reflects those changes and looks to the future.”

In addition to the Commodity Title proposal, NCGA is encouraging its grower-members to voice support for an increase in available funding for the 2007 farm bill. Greater resources are essential to securing a real safety net for producers as well as providing programs to expand production of renewable energy, protect natural resources, reduce hunger and enhance rural development.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) March baseline projects spending for farm income support programs declining from $18 billion in 2006 to $10 billion in 2007. McCauley said NCGA will continue to work hard to secure much-needed additional funding.

“Without higher funding levels, U.S. agriculture is looking at more than a 40 percent reduction in commodity title funds,” he said. “The reforms and improvements NCGA seeks in the next farm bill will be well worth the additional resources.”

McCauley encourages all corn growers to send a message calling for increased funding needs to Capitol Hill by logging onto the NCGA Legislative Action Center and emailing a message to their legislators.

To send a letter urging Congress to increase agriculture funding levels, click on the Action Alert.

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