NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2014

Contact:            Mary Jane Buerkle, Director of Communications and Public Affairs
                        (806) 792-4904; maryjane@plainscotton.org

Plains Cotton Growers Applauds House Approval of Agricultural Act of 2014

Cotton growers across the High Plains expressed gratitude today to the U.S. House of Representatives for their passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014 by a vote of 251-166.

“This legislative package adequately meets the needs of cotton producers across the Cotton Belt, and is the best we could have expected in this budgetary climate,” Plains Cotton Growers President Craig Heinrich, a cotton grower from Slaton, Texas, said. “This bill will save $23 billion over 10 years, reforms and streamlines programs, and gives farmers assurance that they can continue to grow food and fiber to feed and clothe this nation and the world.”

For cotton, the shift from direct cash payments to crop insurance-based risk management achieves meaningful reforms while continuing to work toward a successful resolution of the Brazil WTO case. The bill includes a transition program for cotton in the 2014 crop year, since enactment will come too late for USDA and the private sector to offer the new Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX), until 2015. Crop insurance continues to be the backbone of the farm safety net for cotton, and the bill includes several important improvements in the crop insurance program that will allow farmers to better tailor their crop insurance to the appropriate risk.

PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett expressed appreciation to the farm bill conference committee, which includes PCG service area representatives U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer and U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway, for their efforts.

“The farm bill conference committee, under the strong leadership of House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, Ranking Member Collin Peterson, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, and Ranking Member Thad Cochran, has successfully negotiated a package that cuts the deficit, reduces the size and scope of government, and achieves necessary reform through the creation of this farm bill,” Verett said. “However, our work is not done, as we must continue working together to pass this bill through the Senate and have it signed by the President. Plains Cotton Growers certainly will stand behind all of our farm bill supporters as we continue our efforts to pass a five-year bill that works for agriculture to support our economy.”

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An advocate for High Plains cotton growers since 1956, Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., has been tackling the tough issues facing cotton growers for more than 50 years. PCG’s service area covers 41 counties from the top of the Texas Panhandle southward to the Permian Basin. For more information, call (806) 792-4904 or visit www.plainscotton.org.

 

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