The pressure is on Congress from all sides to get work done during the lame duck session, immediately after the November election. It’s make-or-break time for the 2012 Farm Bill. If the lame duck limps it’s way by without action on the Farm Bill, we’ll all be in a world of hurt as cuts in 2013 and beyond will be unsettling, to say the least. PLAN NOW TO CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN AFTER THE ELECTION.
Reports are coming in that would indicate there is a window of opportunity for action on the 2012 Farm Bill during November after the election. To make this happen, farmers need to turn up the heat. We’ve been hearing for months now that Washington isn’t hearing enough from farmers on this issue.
Momentum is gaining with a few key people on the Hill to get this work done. Here at IL Corn, we see this as an important opportunity that our members cannot miss. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said that he expects the House will vote on the Farm Bill during the lame duck. “‘I’m committed to bring the issue to the floor and then to see a way forward so we can get the votes to pass (a Farm Bill),’ Cantor said.”
Now is the time to act. If you see your candidate, tell him or her you expect a Farm Bill in the lame duck session. Mark your calendar to make a call to your member of the U.S. House of Representative’s office in the days immediately after the election.
Push for a Farm Bill in the Lame Duck!
A Lame Duck Farm Bill is just what the crop insurance doctor ordered! If it waits until 2013 or beyond, crop insurance will wear the biggest target!
Consider this, from Kansas State University Agricultural Economist Art Barnaby, Jr., who noted (“Pay One Loss in 25 Years and Crop Insurance is Runaway Program?”) that, “This is the largest crop disaster year since 1988, allowing critics to claim that crop insurance is a runaway program, but only because this crop is insured and that was not the case in 1988. Additional political rhetoric now claims the government will pay all of the crop insurance claims. They seem to forget about all the years farmers have paid premiums and in some of those years the government even generated underwriting gains. Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA) will determine the share of payments made by companies. One thing is for sure, if this were an ad hoc disaster program the taxpayers would pay all of the loss including administrative costs. We know for a fact that farmers have paid for some of the loss with their past paid premiums!
“The Farm Bill has proposed crop insurance changes and a new farm program to replace Direct Payments.” Dr. Barnaby added that, “Crop insurance critics now want to eliminate the harvest price or increase the farmer paid premium for the harvest price, claiming the current Revenue Protection contract overpaid farmers. Apparently these critics have never had to pay a forward contract cancelation penalty or replace their on farm feed supply after a crop failure. Without the harvest price many Iowa farmers would not have collected an insurance payment this year. Does any rational person believe there would be no calls for a disaster program in this election year, if large number of Iowa farmers were not being compensated for their losses?”