Lucas Heinen, president of the Kansas Soybean Association, testified on behalf of the ASA at the hearing, the ADA said in a news relesae. A more robust risk management framework in the Farm Bill is needed because of the state of the current farm economy, Heinen told the committee.
Heinen pointed to the falling prices of soybeans as well as the cost reduction of the 2014 Farm Bill when compared alongside initial estimates, the release said. The ASA wants to push for farm bill funding through programs that address specific needs, even if that means additional funds.
“I understand that the conventional view in Washington is that the cost of farm programs and other parts of the farm bill will need to be reduced again, just as they were in the 2014 farm bill," Heinen told the committee, the release said. "This is not acceptable to producers.”
Heinen said growers will likely seek strengthening crop insurance and continuing the Agriculture Revenue Coverage option unlinked from planted acreage in the Farm Bill talks, the release said. The group also wants to make a directed shift to using yield data from the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Risk Management Agency and support for conservation programs like the Conservation Stewardship Program and Energy Title programs that are centered on biodiesel and bio-based products. Heinen also underscored a need for export support, the release said.
“We strongly support doubling mandatory funding for the Foreign Market Development program and the Market Access Program to spur promotion of U.S. agricultural exports,” Heinen said in the release. “Funding for these programs has been frozen for over 10 years while our foreign competitors are massively outspending us on market promotion.”
The ASA also repeated a call to maintain a good relationship between producer- and consumer-focused programs in the next Farm Bill, the release said.