The American Soybean Association supports a number of provisions in the draft Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act released Thursday. ASA President Steve Wellman – a Nebraska farmer – says the group supports the reauthorization and funding of important trade and market development programs, reauthorization of agricultural research programs and the focus within the conservation title on working-lands conservation and a gradual reduction of acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program. ASA is also pleased that the House bill includes H.R. 872 – which would ensure farmers aren’t required to obtain duplicative permits for pesticide applications. When it comes to commodity policy – Wellman notes a key priority for ASA is ensuring policies don’t distort planting decisions. He says the group looks forward to working with the House to ensure soybeans are treated equitably and planting decisions would not be distorted by programs offered under the House bill.
The farm bill proposed by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson would trim 35-billion dollars in spending from agriculture, conservation and nutrition programs over 10 years as compared to current law. Wellman says ASA knows the budget challenges facing the nation are serious. He says ASA is committed to a bill that bears agriculture’s fair share of deficit reduction responsibilities.