The House Agriculture Committee completed its 2007 Farm Bill last week, and three major commodity groups seem to have breathed sighs of relief - if not cries of jubilation.
In a release on its Web site, the National Corn Growers' Association refers to the House Ag Committee's bill as "a step in the right direction."
The House Agriculture Committee's bill gives farmers the option of signing up for a program similar to one now available in the 2002 farm bill or a program that allows growers to enter a revenue-triggered countercyclical program based on national price. NCGA advocates a farm bill with a county-based revenue countercyclical program that triggers payments based on a farm's revenue rather than a crop's price.
The American Soybean Association says it would strongly oppose any measure that would weaken commodity supports. The Commodity Title includes a soybean target price of $6.10/bu., up from the current level of $5.80/bu., and continues the $5.00/bu. soybean loan rate and $0.44/bu. direct payment.
"Although ASA's Farm Bill proposal call for a soybean target price of $6.85, $6.10 is a step in the right direction toward rebalancing the support provided to oilseeds in relation to other program commodities," says ASA President John Hoffman.
With an added adjusted gross income cap of $1 million that Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., had said could be mainly a Southern concern, Peterson had some concerns about maintaining support from cotton. However grudgingly the National Cotton Council accepted the payment limits, the group sounded content enough about commodity programs in a statement released Friday.
"The National Cotton Council stated today that in order to assist with the timely movement of the Farm Bill through the House Committee on Agriculture and the House floor, the NCC has reluctantly agreed to a package of payment limit adjustments. The new payment limit package has received support across program commodities.
"Furthermore, the Council supports the basic farm program structure of the commodity title included in Chairman Peterson's mark. The three components of the safety net for production agriculture have served U.S. agriculture well and have been fiscally responsible. We are pleased that many provisions sought by the Council are included in the mark, but we continue in our efforts to include authority for flexible redemption of marketing loans."