ASA says crop insurance, conservation are top priorities in ’23 farm bill
Improving the farm safety net and continuing incentive-based conservation programs are top priorities for the American Soybean Association in the next farm bill.
ASA Executive Committee member and Missouri farmer Ronnie Russel says weather extremes and volatility in the markets are making it tougher for farmers to increase their bottom line. “As much money as we put into a crop every year, if we didn’t have a way to insure or protect that investment, one year and you could be completely out of farming. Period,” he says. “That’s really important that we have that Title 1 in the next farm bill and I’m sure we will, but it’s going to need to be tweaked quite a bit.”
Russel says ASA began gathering soy grower’s interests in September of 2021 through an education session, then sent surveys to farmers and held 12 listening sessions.
He tells Brownfield conservation programs need to remain flexible and voluntary. “There’s many different ways in which those farmers within those states grow those crops. Not all farm programs and conservation programs in particular fit everybody. One glove doesn’t fit everybody. So I think that’s something that needs to be considered in this upcoming farm bill as well.”
And, Russel, says funding should remain for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). “Which are great for so many people who are hungry and need in this country. We do believe that needs to continue. We also appreciate those that are there on both of the Senate and House side for the agricultural committees that understand the importance of the program.”
Other priorities include expanding trade, building biobased and biofuels opportunities and ensuring broadband coverage.