It’s Christmas time! In what has become a yearly tradition, I’d like to share the things that Illinois Corn wants for Christmas! Here we go …
2. A FARM BILL ALREADY!!!
We are now entering the third year without an updated farm bill.
Strictly from a personal standpoint, I’d really like to get this thing negotiated and done. We’ve been planning for this farm bill since we started our farm bill listening sessions way back in 2010. That’s a long time.
For any of you that need a little history, the current farm bill was negotiated in 2008 and scheduled to expire on September 30, 2012. We didn’t get anything new negotiated in the House and Senate in 2012 so they passed an extension making the farm bill “good” until September 30, 2013.
Guess what? No farm bill passed by September 2013 either. So now it’s December 2013, we have nothing passed, and we’re heading into 2014 without a farm bill. The farm bill we’ve been planning for since 2010. Holy cow … that’s some significant dysfunction … but we’ll save that for number five on my list.
Without beating a dead horse, I’ll just say that farm bills are important to farmers. Farm bills let them know what sort of environment they are planting for. Is the government going to pay them to not plant? Hope not, but that’s nice to know before your crop goes in the ground. Is the government going to offer crop insurance again in 2014? Sure hope so, but again, great to know you have a risk management plan before your crop goes in the ground. Is the government going to authorize less conservation program acres in 2014? That would be nice to know before they leave that land fallow and get no return on investment for their families from that piece of ground …
Farmers deserve the certainty of knowing what to plan for. And they are planning now. Farmers are right now buying their seed for next year. They are buying fertilizer and planning what crops to put on what acres. But it’s hard to do that without knowing what the government is going to show up with.
Getting a farm bill under the tree sure would be nice this Christmas. Finally.
ICGA/ICMB Marketing Director