National Cotton Council Somewhat Pleased with Senate Farm Bill’s Direction

Dr. Gary Adams – Vice President of Policy Analysis and Economics for the National Cotton Council – says the Council liked the direction of the Senate-approved farm bill – for the most part. Adams says it included a version of the revenue insurance program the Council believes is a solid program for cotton…

“We are concerned when we look at the Senate bill with some of the amendments that were adopted on income means test and on payment limits and eligilibility for the farm programs. That is an issue in the Senate bill. Hopefully as we move forward they can be taken care of.”
 

Adams says the House will make changes in the Senate version…
 

“When we look at the commodity title we are going to see some changes from where the Senate is. My guess is the House might go back to looking like what was put together for the joint budget committee last fall. We understand that to be for most commodities to be a choice between a target priced or a revenue based program. I think there will be changes in other commodity programs relative to the Senate. Once the house ag committee does their work in a few weeks, at that point it gets to be more uncertain as to whether or not there will be any floor time in July before they take their August recess. If you look at the calendar for September and October, it’s a limited number of legislative days, and if they don’t get it done then, it will be looked after the November elections.”
 

The Council did like the market loan program provisions being retained in the Senate version. Adams says the cotton industry advocated some adjustments – including looking at a formula to allow the level of the loan to adjust based on a moving average of the adjusted world price – between 52 and 47-cents. Adams says once it’s established for a marketing year – it would not change – but could adjust in the following marketing years…
 

“Those are efforts that we were advocating to address the Brazil dispute. We are still moving forward trying to reach a resolution to that. Brazil has been authorized to impose retaliation on products from the US if they choose do to so, that would include higher imports. The US and Brazilian govenments agreed to a framework agreement back in 2010. This delayed any retaliation by Brazil with the understanding that as the 2012 farm bill was put in place there would be changes in cotton policy that would address the cotton portion of the WTO dispute.”
 

Adams says it is one of those factors to pay attention to regarding what’s put in place in the 2012 Farm Bill – including provisions as a resolution for the dispute.


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