The American Soybean Association (ASA) today called on Congress not to make a proposed $3 billion cut to the Farm Bill.
Specifically, ASA maintains the cut would strain farming budgets when it comes to crop insurance support.
ASA President Wade Cowan, a soybean farmer from Brownfield, Texas, released the following statement in response to the potential cuts, urging lawmakers find other ways to cut the budget:
“ASA absolutely opposes any effort by Congress to reopen any part of the farm bill as part of budget negotiations, and we implore lawmakers to reject any attempt to target crop insurance or any other farm bill programs for further cuts," he said. "Speaking frankly, our farm economy is simply not in the shape it was even three years ago when we began the process of writing the farm bill. Crop values are down almost 50 percent, and our farmers face volatile weather ranging from flooding in the Carolinas to drought in Texas and fires in California. Farmers need a stronger safety net, not a weaker one, and now is hardly the time to pull the rug out from under them by weakening the nation’s investment in the crop insurance program."
Cowan said the organization supports U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX), and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MI) in their defense of the 2014 Farm Bill and the critical safety net it provides farmers.
"Faced with the need to confront our nation’s budget responsibility, we worked alongside these committee leaders for three full years to craft a piece of farm legislation that strengthens our safety net and brings savings to the table," Cowan said. "That’s more than can be said for any other industry sector. This burden is something that must be spread across the board, not shouldered unfairly by a select few.”