On May 21, 34 organizations – including the National Cotton Council (NCC) – sent a letter to all of the U.S. senators. These groups stated that they are committed to opposing “amendments on the Senate floor that might weaken the crop insurance program or amendments that might not link conservation compliance with crop insurance premium assistance.” Soon after, the Senate approved the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 by a 66-27 vote.
According to NCC Chairman Jimmy Dodson, who is a South Texas cotton producer, “The Senate approval of this Farm Bill is an important step toward providing producers with critically important predictability and tools to manage risk.”
However, on June 20, the Farm Bill came tumbling down when the House of Representatives rejected it by a vote of 234-195. Dodson issued another statement via the NCC that said, “The U.S. cotton industry is deeply disappointed that the House failed to approve the legislation approved by the Agriculture Committee on a strong bipartisan vote after two years of extensive debate and consideration of hundreds of amendments.”
Also in June, we asked our readers if they believe that conservation compliance will remain linked with crop insurance premium assistance when the 2013 Farm Bill is completed. Perhaps “if” would have been a more appropriate word than “when” at this point.
Following are some comments from the respondents who voted in the June Web Poll:
• “It’s all about government control. Subsidies pose a fine line to walk because as much as I hate government subsidies, the power of a nation lies in its ability to feed itself!”
• “Who knows?”
• “Without the Direct and Counter-cyclical Payment Program, the federal government will have no way to control what agriculture entities do with the land. Insurance would be a way to do that. It would also require more staff to insure compliance, therefore protecting more government jobs. These so-called conservation issues are another way to control agriculture and therefore affect the nation as a whole.”
• “Insurance is not a good deal at all unless you are in the Corn Belt. Probably most peanut and cotton producers will opt out. The government will always try to control agriculture. It is their only card to play when dealing with foreign governments.”
• “I agree with the previous comments. The government has to maintain control over us somehow. I think the environmental groups will also push hard to make this so.”
• “Everyone is pretty well on the money. The government will do all it can to force the little guy to do things the way the government wants it done. I spent 30 years in the environmental compliance business before taking over the family farm, and I can tell you that every agency has always thought it knew better than the people in business. However, now it appears that the goal is not to succeed, but to remake the country into a sixth class regressive dependent nation!”
• “Whatever will complement government control will prevail. Too bad.”
• “It’s the only way to get the Farm Bill through Congress with majority urban members. No control, if no bill.”
This month, we are polling our readers to see how the 2013 crop is progressing at this time and what type of conditions are having an effect on it.
Go to cottonfarming.com to cast your vote and share your comments. Be sure to check out the results of the July Web Poll in the August issue of Cotton Farming.
Web Poll Results
Do you believe that conservation compliance will remain linked with crop insurance premium assistance when the 2013 Farm Bill is completed?
• Yes – 76 %
• No – 12 %
• It depends – 12 %
July Web Poll Question
How would you describe your cotton crop in the first week of July? In the “Comments” section, name your area of the Belt and tell us what factors influenced your rating.
(2) Very good
Register your vote and comments at www.cottonfarming.com.