In our continuing series profiling the candidates for North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture, democratic challenger Walter Smith expands on the expired farm bill legislation.
Smith explains what actions he will or can take with no farm bill in place to assist North Carolina producers:
“The first thing I would like to tell them is don’t panic. Go ahead and plan your plantings based on next year’s crop outlook and about what we already know about the bill that has passed in the Senate. We know that bill is going to end direct farm payments, its going to end the acreage crop revenue program and the supplemental revenue assistance program. But it will also expand the crop insurance industry to cover both price and yield losses.
The House bill will be somewhat different from the Senate bill, but their basic premises’ should be the same. That is, we are going to do away with direct payments and we are going to expand the crop insurance to take care of losses in production and revenue.
There may be some slight delays in payments from the farm service agency due to the fact that the bill has not been passed on time. I would urge the lending institutions to take this into consideration and work with the farmers who may need some cash advance before these payments are made.
We need to encourage our congressional delegation from North Carolina to put pressure on our leadership in the House, because the leadership is what has been holding up the passing of the farm bill in the House.
If we don’t pass the farm bill, we revert back to the 1949 permanent agricultural legislation. No congressman, democrat or republican, wants that to happen. So I feel confident that the farm bill will be passed, even if it is just an extension – which has been done in the past.”
Tomorrow, we’ll hear incumbent commissioner Steve Troxler’s thoughts and ideas on farm bill legislation on Today’s Topic.
For more comments from the candidates for North Carolina Ag Commissioner click here.