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Groups Agree on Commodity Title Compromise

Three groups propose farm bill compromise; submit letter to lead negotiators and chamber leaders

Published on: Nov 21, 2013

Corn, soy and canola organizations late Tuesday submitted a letter to House and Senate leaders and farm bill negotiators requesting consideration of a commodity title compromise they recently agreed upon.

American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association and U.S. Canola Association, previously divided on the path forward for the commodity title in the farm bill, said the compromise is an effort to avoid another extension of the 2008 farm bill.

In the compromise, the organizations proposed using the average of planted acres during the five years previous to the current year as the payment base for both the revenue and the price programs. The average would thus move forward, adding and dropping a year every year, in order to remain as current as possible without including the current year, which would serve as a deterrent to building base, the groups said.

Three groups propose commodity title compromise; submit letter to lead farm bill negotiators and chamber leaders
Three groups propose commodity title compromise; submit letter to lead farm bill negotiators and chamber leaders

Consideration should be given to how effective revenue protection can be provided at both the farm and county levels under this approach, they added.

"We believe this novel approach addresses both the needs and the concerns of farmers growing all program crops in all regions of the country," the letter said. "We offer it as a solution which, while not the first choice of any of our organizations, is a compromise we can all support and which can help move the farm bill process to a successful conclusion."

Legislators from both the Senate and House have been working in a conference committee to reconcile the bill since Oct. 31.

Some pundits speculate this week is a make-it-or-break-it week for farm bill progress – Congress will recess Nov. 22 for Thanksgiving, retuning briefly next month for a short session before Christmas and New Year's Day.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack has previously noted that if a new farm bill is not approved prior to the end of the year, permanent 1938 and 1949 farm laws take effect, triggering milk price supports that some may remember taglined last year as the "dairy cliff."

Read the letter here.