A new Farm Bill proposal was introduced Friday by Senators Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, John Thune, R-S.D., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind. The Aggregate Risk and Revenue Management program would base payments on planted acres instead of base acres and because producers would no longer be required to sign up for the life of the farm bill, producers would be free to plant anything they desire on their farm.
The bill also builds on the current Average Crop Revenue Election program. It would eliminate the direct and counter-cyclical payment programs, as well as SURE, the standing disaster program. The program would determine losses at the crop reporting district level, rather than the state level. It would also simplify crop insurance. The Congressional Budget Office says ARRM would save about $20 billion.
The National Corn Growers Association has voiced their support of the legislation that is designed to simplify, consolidate and streamline existing commodity programs authorized as part of the 2008 Farm Bill.
"We greatly appreciate the senators' work to introduce legislation that will provide a more effective and responsive safety net for America's farmers," NCGA President Bart Schott said. "This legislation addresses several concerns raised by farmers regarding the ACRE program, including overly complicated procedures and delayed payments when losses are experienced. We also understand everyone must do their part to help our nation with its difficult financial situation, and we are pleased to see a bill introduced that takes responsible steps to help meet this challenge."
Schott says that while crop insurance is still the number one risk management tool for farmers, an effective, efficient revenue-based risk management tool that addresses gaps not covered by crop insurance is vitally important.
"We feel the proposed legislation adopts the right kind of market-oriented approach in providing assistance when most needed by producers," Schott said. "We look forward to working with the senators as they continue their work with the Senate Agriculture Committee on a farm safety net for today's risk management needs."