With 2013 looming and no farm bill in sight, Paul Penner, Second Vice President of National Association of Wheat Growers explains that winter wheat growers with a crop in the ground are especially vulnerable:
“Demand is good, the demand globally is growing and we are having a very good time from that stand point. On the flip side, we are still recovering from a drought so production is not as good as it could be so that does reflect in some of the prices.
The Carolina farmers are benefiting from the Mid Western drought. That fortune comes and goes. A few years ago we were having a good year and Russia was having a bad year. There are years when the drought comes to NC and SC so it always comes around again.
With the lack of the farm bill, we would like to see a continuation of the current congress making an effort to push the current farm bill through. It’s important to have this done and have the leaders focus on that aspect. The House Ag Committee has done its work and we congratulate them for it. We want them to introduce that bill in the house and get it voted.
There are some wheat programs that could be affected and really have an impact on farmers with wheat in the ground. Title One, we have pretty much assumed that those direct payments are going away. But there are other programs in there that would remain if it would receive authorization. There have been appropriations on some funds, but we have not received authorization. Congress has to renew it. So the big push is to make sure we still have those programs, as well as the safety net for farmers so that if there is a severe weather condition, its important that farmers have that safety net.
I think the winter wheat acres have been up a little bit this year. There are some places they have planted a lot of wheat because they have no other option right now.”