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rswfarms
Senior Contributor

Sen. Cochran: Ag committee faces 'difficult choices'/Farm Bill

Another article on something that affects everyone, unless of course you are not in the Farm Program or you do not take crop insurance on your corn and soybeans. I have no problem if they cut the Direct Payment Subsidies. In Iowa they amount to only 9 cents per corn bushel. Most of us can take a 9 cent per bushel loss of corn revenue and still be ok. Now the crop insurance subsidy is a different matter. In Iowa the crop insurance subsidy comes to around 25 cents per corn bushel, not a huge amount of money per bushel, but again this will increase our cost of production by 25 cents per bushel. 25 cents per bushel can add up. For a guy producing 250,000 bushels of corn, this is an increase of inputs by $62,500 per crop year. That's not exactly chicken feed. Article is below:

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Sen. Cochran: Ag committee faces 'difficult choices'

WASHINGTON — Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi said he’ll work to protect Southern farmers as he helps craft a new farm bill amid heightened pressure on Congress to cut federal spending.

“We’ll do the best we can … to be sure that it’s equitable and fair,” said Cochran, top Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.

Cochran said agriculture programs could be hard hit by the general push to limit federal spending and, more immediately, by sequestration spending cuts that took effect March 1.

“We’re going to have to make some difficult choices,” Cochran said in an interview. “We can’t fund everything that everybody wants us to fund, because we need to ensure we stay within the budget limits.”

Some Midwest farmers respect Cochran as someone who knows a lot about agriculture and strongly supports farm interests. They don’t believe he will have enough influence to stop the move toward crop insurance and away from direct payments, which are popular with Southern farmers.

Cochran’s status as the agriculture committee’s ranking member “will probably give a little more representation to the Southern crops,” said Dave Miller, 61, a corn and soybean farmer from Iowa. “It’s not necessarily a loss for the Midwest.”

Miller said the final shape of the farm bill will likely hang on fiscal issues that still need to be ironed out by Congress.

“I think the dollars are still going to dictate what happens,” he said.

Southern farm groups and lawmakers hope Cochran’s leadership means they’ll fare better in 2013 than in the farm bill debated last year, when Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas was the committee’s ranking Republican.

Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, who chaired the committee last year, continues to head it in this Congress.

“Southerners will have an experienced voice in the structure of the farm bill,” said James Novak, an agriculture economist at Auburn University in Alabama. “(Cochran) knows how to work with the system. … Anybody working with that Congress is going to have difficulties. Things just are partisan and money-based.”

Cochran, now serving his sixth term in the Senate, recently served as ranking member of the powerful Appropriations Committee. He stepped down late last year when his six-year term expired.

Cochran has served on the agriculture committee for more than 30 years. He was instrumental in helping write the 2002 farm bill.

Cochran said the pressure to cut federal spending will be a key factor in shaping the bill this time.

“We have to make hard choices, and some things (will) have to wait until next year,” he said, noting that some construction projects might be delayed.

The Senate passed a five-year $500 billion farm bill last June that slashed subsidy payments in favor of new crop insurance programs, despite opposition from Southern lawmakers, who said the legislation unfairly shifted resources to Northern farmers.

Rice and peanut growers in the South benefit more from direct cash payments, because they face higher production costs.

The farm bill languished in the House last year. Instead, lawmakers passed a one-year measure that extended the 2008 farm law until Sept. 30. The Senate and House agriculture committees have not decided when they will begin the arduous task of crafting a new farm bill.

Republican Rep. Alan Nunnelee of Mississippi, a member of the House Peanut Caucus, said Cochran will help produce a more balanced bill than the 2012 Senate legislation, which he said was “ heavily weighted in favor of the Midwest.”

“Agriculture jobs are important throughout the U.S., not just one region,” Nunnelee said.

Novak said Southern farmers’ wish list includes revenue-based commodity programs and minimal cuts in commodity programs.

Direct payments are likely to go by the wayside, Novak said.

Cochran said most groups agree farmers should get their profits from the market and not the government.

“So what we’re trying to do is have a program that takes care of the fluctuations and maybe disasters … but (are) designed to even it out so that you don’t lose important sectors of our economy when you have a drought or when you have flooded fields in areas that you don’t expect,” he said.

 

 

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14 Replies
Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Sen. Cochran: Ag committee faces 'difficult choices'/Farm Bill

Sounds like you will have to pay for your own Lexus next time.

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rswfarms
Senior Contributor

Re: Sen. Cochran: Ag committee faces 'difficult choices'/Farm Bill

Yes Kay, pretty funny on my wife's new SUV!!!!!!!!

But all Iowa farmers together collected $1.2 BILLION Dollars in crop insurance subsidies in 2012. And yes, that is $1 BILLION. Pretty good chunk of coin. Throw in all the other cornbelt states and we are talking around $8.4 BILLION dollars in total crop insurance subsidies to our countries farmers. $8.4 BILLION Dollars is alot of oney.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Sen. Cochran: Ag committee faces 'difficult choices'/Farm Bill

In the overall context of the national budget, it os a minor factor. In these times, a lot of sacred cows may end up on someone's plate.

Timing is everything. Having waited this long for a new farm bill, a bit longer wait may be better for farmers, if the current commodities prices falter, and loss of Direct Payments and other streams of income from USDA return to their more normal, more necessary position on the bottom line.
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Faust100F
Advisor

Re: Sen. Cochran: Ag committee faces 'difficult choices'/Farm Bill

rsw- I really get a kick out of these Southern Farmers and their representatives whine like little puppy dogs.  You do not even know how out of balance the direct payments were between corn and soybean farmers as opposed to cotton and rice producers.   It was a joke . . . those direct payments on cotton and rice is clear and convincing

evidence of who "really won" the civil war.

 

The farmer from Iowa quoted in the article, has no idea how badly he was getting screwed over the life of direct payments.  Of course embicles such as this exist all over the rural backwater.  Plus . . . the peanut program is the real scam being run in this country right now, with the allotments those should be eliminated also.

 

These jokers could let their farms lie idle, grow nothing and still make a great living off of just the direct payment on cotton and rice.  In the corn and bean states no one could do that!  In fact . . . I know farmers who were rented thousands of acres of land in the south for the direct payment plus $10 an acre. 

 

It is going to be a shame to see these Southern Farmers have to work for a living instead of drinking "mint julips" up at the big house. 

 

Direct payments should be eliminated, that is one reason most of these Southern Farmers only carried CAT coverage.  Well . . . they are going to get educated about revenue insurance . . . if they don't they will be gone . . . the farm managers will be gone (you know the landowners representative who handles the hired help . . . down there landowners hire someone else to manage their farms for them, LMAO! 

 

They often thought it strange that Midwestern Farmers who farmed down there ran their own operations without a farm manager.   

 

The South has been picking the pockets of American taxpayers since the civil war ended.  It is time to let them stand or fall on their own. Adios Amigo. John

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rswfarms
Senior Contributor

Re: Sen. Cochran: Ag committee faces 'difficult choices'/Farm Bill

Yes Kay, in the "BIG PICTURE", $8.4 Billion dollars isn't much. I don't mind too much if they take away the Direct Payments, but on the crop insurance subsidy that is over $75,000/year in revenue just for my farm operation. About 2 fully-loaded GMC 1/2 TON pick-up trucks!!!!!!! Just another way of looking at it. LOL

But yes, I get around $75,000/year for my share of the crop insurance subsidy. That's more than 75% of what the "CITY PEOPLE". get as net family income. I can see why the "CITY PEOPLE" get mad, they think that the $75,000/year I get is pure profit, when really it is just another revenue stream.

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rswfarms
Senior Contributor

Re: Sen. Cochran: Ag committee faces 'difficult choices'/Farm Bill/Faust

So these Southern States farmland owners think that I should be hiring a Farm Manager to handle my farms?????

Pretty funny, all I do is put up the land, buy all the inputs like seed, chemicals, etc and do the marketing of my own corn and soybeans. Anyone with an IQ over 80 can do that!!!!!

Maybe that says something about those Southern State farmland owners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Watch, a Alabama landowner will read that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Sen. Cochran: Ag committee faces 'difficult choices'/Farm Bill

You do not have to pay anything extra in operating expense to receive that payment, so it is pure profit in your pocket.

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rswfarms
Senior Contributor

Re: Sen. Cochran: Ag committee faces 'difficult choices'/Farm Bill

Yes Kay, you could look at the Insurance subsidy as pure profit. However, I prefer to look at it as reducing my COP (Cost of Production) by 25 cents per bushel. Guess anyway you look at it, the subsidy hits one of your columns on your spreadsheet as revenue or a lower COP.

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Faust100F
Advisor

Re: Sen. Cochran: Ag committee faces 'difficult choices'/Farm Bill/Faust

rsw- I am just telling you how it is in the Delta.  I was in Alabama two weeks ago, believe me there are no real farmers in Alabama. Just what do they lead the nation in? It is not a farm state. lol.

 

  Ummmmm with regard to your comment regarding you hiring a "farm manager" . . .  I am sure your new son in law will be able to tell you everything about running your farming operation.  LMAO!    John 

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