Farmers Want Farm Safety Net

In a survey done at the latest Farm Bureau Federation meeting in Honolulu, farmers indicated their hope that farm safety programs will continue in the next Farm Bill.

The past several months have been difficult for many American farmers. While commodity prices have skyrocketed, leading to record high farm profits, many farmers have experienced major losses due to extreme weather in nearly every region of the country. In addition, with the 2008 Farm Bill about to expire, many farmers are nervous due to Congress’ inability to pass the long-debated 2012 Farm Bill.

At a Farm Bureau meeting in Honolulu, farmers expressed a hope that the next farm bill will continue major farm safety net programs. Currently, the 2008 Farm Bill authorizes a series of safety programs that include direct farm payments, subsidies triggered by low farm prices, and government subsidized crop insurance.

While farmers are nearly unanimous in hoping that farm support programs will continue, there is some disagreement as to how best to maintain these programs. 39 percent of farmers surveyed at the meeting indicated that they would prefer to maintain the supports contained in the 2008 Farm Bill. About 36 percent responded that they would support switching the current system to a revenue insurance program.

The 2012 Farm Bill is set to resume debate in the House and Senate when both houses return from recess.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer