In response to the early morning passage of the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM) by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture today, American Soybean Association (ASA) President Steve Wellman, a farmer from Syracuse, Neb., releases the following statement on the legislation:
"ASA congratulates the House Agriculture Committee, Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Peterson for their perseverance on the farm bill, and we now focus our efforts on passage by the full House. We strongly urge Speaker Boehner to bring the farm bill to the floor for debate and to pass the bill quickly to provide America’s farmers with the certainty and stability needed to remain viable. While it may be called a ‘farm’ bill, it really is a jobs and food bill that affects Americans from all walks of life, and it must be made a priority.
"ASA’s key priority in the farm bill discussions has been to develop programs that help farmers manage risk while complementing crop insurance and avoiding planting distortions. While we are encouraged by today’s passage, we remain concerned about planting distortions that could occur under a coupled target price program such as that contained in the House bill. We look forward to working with the agriculture committees in the House and Senate to address these concerns as the process moves forward.
"ASA continues to support provisions in the House bill that reauthorize and fund trade and market development programs, as well as agricultural research programs. ASA also supports the bill’s focus on working-lands conservation and a gradual reduction of acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program. Additionally, ASA is pleased to see the reauthorization of the Biobased Market Program and the Biodiesel Education Program, and we will continue our work with the agriculture committees in both chambers to provide funding for these programs.
"ASA remains steadfast in our commitment to passing a farm bill in 2012, and we call on leaders in the House to echo that commitment to America’s farmers by bringing the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act to the floor as soon as possible."
ASA represents U.S. soybean farmers on domestic and international issues of importance to the soybean industry. ASA’s advocacy efforts are made possible through voluntary membership by more than 21,000 farmers in 31 states where soybeans are grown.