PCG EMAIL SERVICES: MYPLAINVIEW.COM - 2014 is transition year under new farm bill
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Tue Mar 25 13:12:57 CDT 2014
MYPLAINVIEW.COM - 2014 is transition year under new farm bill
Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 7:25 pm
By DOUG McDONOUGH Herald Editor
Although details of the newly adopted 2014 Farm Bill continue to emerge, Floyd County farmer Eddie Smith cautions fellow agricultural producers to consider carefully the choices they make in the coming months because they will impact their farm program benefits and payments for the next five years.
“They have to understand that 2014 is the transition year to get the new program up and running, but the decisions they make now will carry through 2018.”
Smith, as past chairman of the National Cotton Council, introduced Dr. Gary Adams, NCC’s vice president of economic and policy analysis, who offered a two-hour overview of the 2014 Farm Bill on Wednesday morning at the Plainview Convention Center. The session is one of 45 educational meetings being held throughout the Cotton Belt by NCC.
“Today’s attendance is really encouraging, especially when you consider how busy farmers are this time of year,” said Smith, a Floydada resident. “Producers need to be cognizant of the many changes in the farm program, and hopefully we will have another round of these programs in late summer as various provisions become clear.”
Smith, who serves as board chairman of the Plains Cotton Cooperative Association in Lubbock, is involved in a family farming operation that includes about 2,500 acres of irrigated cotton, 1,500 acres of dryland wheat, 500 acres of sunflower and cattle.
“It’s really encouraging to see the amount of participation we have been getting at these programs throughout the Cotton Belt,” he said. “It shows how hungry our producers are for information.”
A key element in the new farm legislation, brought on by World Trade Organization rulings against the United States over complaints filed by Brazil, involves a shift away from commodity-based deficiency payments to a greater reliance on crop insurance products. “It’s a reform program, but still contains a safety net for American producers within the framework of the WTO ruling. That was not an easy task.”
Speaking at an earlier program in Lubbock, Adams was quoted by Ag Day Lubbock as saying, “This farm bill is a fundamental change for cotton because it really takes a greater focus on some of the crop insurance products. There are going to be new insurance programs available for cotton. One is a new revenue insurance program that we refer to as the STAX product that can be purchased in addition to a producer’s underlying coverage. It will be coming into effect with the 2015 crop.”
In Plainview, Adams reiterated that producers will have to make a one-time choice for other crops later in the year, between price-based coverage or a revenue-based formula. Those decisions will remain with each farm through 2018, despite possible changes in ownership or producer.
“Producers will have to work very closely with their crop insurance agents as well as with their local Farm Services Administration representatives,” Adams advises.
“They have many important decisions to make.”
Additional rules should be out in early May, he said.
In the weeks and months ahead, he recommends that growers:
•Seek out education opportunities on the 2014 Farm Bill
•Investigate reliable decision tools
•Inquire, at the appropriate time, about program details from local FSA officials
•Ask questions of insurance agents regarding the new products and coverage options.
A slide show of Adams’ presentation along with a farm bill summary are available to NCC members at www.cotton.org. A user name and password are required to access the information.
dmcdonough at hearstnp.com
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