Corn Growers Push for New Farm Bill

ICGA supports preliminary design of a new farm policy alternative.

The Iowa Corn Growers Association is working with the National Corn Growers Association to further the development of a revenue-based farm safety net for inclusion in the 2007 Farm Bill. The key objectives are:

* To consider the value corn growers obtain from farm programs
* Boost the market orientation of farm programs
* Improve efficiency with which taxpayer dollars are spent supporting agriculture

"As corn growers, we believe good farm policy is a vital component to helping U.S. agriculture remain a reliable supplier of feed, food and fuel for the United States and the world marketplace," says Bob Bowman, ICGA president, who farms in DeWitt. "Our proposal takes the positive aspects of the current USDA farm program and develops a more effective safety net for growers."

Better financial safety net for farmers

The revenue-based program would replace the marketing loan and the counter-cyclical programs and directly target producer net revenue adversely impacted by significant crop losses, escalating variable production costs and depressed commodity markets.

The proposal includes two programs, the Base Revenue Protection and the Revenue Countercyclical Program. These programs would work in a complementary fashion to assist corn farmers when market revenue falls below target levels. BRP provides coverage against declines in farm-level, crop-specific net revenue, while RCCP builds on this base with protection against declines in revenue measured at the county level, which is similar to Group Risk Income Protection in federal crop insurance.

"Coupled with the current fixed direct payments and a recourse loan program, BRP and RCCP would establish a safety net structured to meet current WTO rules," Bowman says. To watch for more updates and progress on the 2007 Farm Bill, go to www.iowacorn.org. The ICGA is a membership organization, lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its 6,000 members.

Membership gives strength in numbers

When working for important legislation in Iowa or in the United States, it's best to have strength in numbers. The Iowa Corn Growers Association provides that strength through its membership program.

"We want Iowa corn growers to have strong representation when it comes to state and national policy," says Bowman. "We need member representation in order to have a strong collective voice on issues such the 2007 Farm Bill, ethanol usage, transportation issues and more."

Last year, ICGA members worked together for strong ethanol legislation in Iowa. They made their message known and it was a success with the passage of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Standard. "A strong, unified voice helped us reach Iowa legislators during the last legislative session," says Bowman. "We need to continue to have a strong voice this year and in the years ahead. In 2007, we will be working hard on the Farm Bill."

Members need to get involved in issues

Members and policy action ICGA members are encouraged to become involved with state and federal issues. ICGA policy is developed at grassroots meetings around the state and confirmed at an annual policy conference. Throughout the legislative session, growers meet with their legislators to discuss issues important to the corn industry. Members can also sign up to get up-to-date legislative information through the Rapid Response Team. The ICGA's lobbying and legislative efforts are financed through membership dollars.

What are the member benefits? A three-year membership to the ICGA includes membership to NCGA as well as access to the latest legislative information, educational opportunities, corn and agricultural information and more. For $140-you will be a three-year member of ICGA. For more information on policy action or joining the ICGA, call (800) 284-6345 or go to www.iowacorn.org. ICGA is a membership organization, lobbying on ag issues on behalf of its 6,000 members.

TAGS: USDA
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