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Priorities of agricultural groups’ aerial farms – AgriNews

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Crop insurance protection, market access and nutrition programs were among the top priorities expressed during a hearing session on the farm bill held on Farm Day. Illinois State Fair Agriculture Aug. 16.

U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., heard feedback from representatives of seven farm groups and several participants at the session hosted by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. State Senator Patrick Joyce, D-Essex, served as moderator with Bustos.

Bustos chairs the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Agricultural Commodities and Risk Management and has hosted hearing sessions on farm bills around the country.

The current Farm Bill expires in 2023.

Kristi Jones, Deputy Director of IDOA, opened the listening session, emphasizing the importance of continuing programs such as the U.S. Department of agriculture to create local food hubs for underserved farmers and underserved communities, and specialty crops. Block grants.

Promoting trade was another IDOA priority in the Farm Bill.

“For every dollar invested in export market development programs, $24 is returned in export revenue. These are opportunities for farmers, for agribusinesses and job creation in this state,” Jones said.

She also stressed the importance of federal and state governments working together to prepare for any potential animal disease.

Rodney Weinzierl, executive director of the Illinois Corn Growers Association and the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, said the nutrition discussion and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Farm Bill will be a “top issue” in the future.

“With inflation going on and coming out of COVID, and a lot of people not reworking to some degree, those costs are high right now, he’s got a high score in the Congressional Budget Office, and I think he going to be a lot of debate and discussion around this. I think it’s extremely important as production agriculture that we support nutrition programs,” he said.

Weinzierl noted that only about 40 congressional districts in the US contain production agriculture and 218 votes are needed to pass anything in the US House.

“So we have to convince other members of Congress to support something in this bill that is close to their hearts. Every district has a food nutrition challenge in their district,” he said.

Crop insurance must continue to help farmers manage risk.

“We are very interested in continuing the Section 508(h) system in crop insurance where private sector individuals can develop crop insurance products. We need this innovation in crop insurance,” Weinzierl added.

Ron Kindred, vice president of the Illinois Soybean Association, continued the conversation on crop insurance.

“The most important thing for us in the farm bill is to protect crop insurance, making sure it is a viable tool that we can use as farmers here in the world. ‘Illinois. It is our best risk management tool to accompany the PLC and ARC programs that are currently offered. Maintaining this safety net is a top priority for our organization,” he noted.

Another ISA priority is to keep the nutrition program in the Farm Bill.

“We are farmers, we grow food, and there are hungry people in the United States who need food. So we think there’s a good synergy between growers and needs in the United States and we need to make sure we keep the nutrition program going with the farm bill,” Kindred said.

“There have been times in the past where they have tried to separate them and we know how much of a problem that could be and if they do separate them there is a very good chance we won’t get a bill. agricultural.”

The ISA would also like to see increased funding for the market access program and the continuation of voluntary incentive-based conservation programs.

Jennifer Tirey, executive director of the Illinois Pork Producers Association, said Illinois ranks fourth in the nation for pork production, with producers ranging from contract farmers to independent farmers, all of whom can be significantly impacted by an epidemic of animal disease.

The 2018 farm bill included funding for a foot and mouth disease vaccine bank, and the IPPA wants this provision to continue in the new farm bill.

“We would like to see in the farm bill with at least the current levels, if not more dollars for animal diseases, not only to prevent exotic animal diseases like African swine fever from entering our country, but also foot and mouth disease . It’s a critical component,” Tirey said.

“In addition, we support market access. Thirty percent of our product is now sent overseas to various export markets. The export market is an essential means for our pork producers to continue to move forward.

Liz Brown-Reeves, state lobbyist for the Illinois Beef Association, agreed with Tirey and also noted the organization’s support for biofuels.

“Biofuels are a priority as the Midwest Beef Coalition. Additionally, most of our members are row crop producers, so strong crop insurance programs that provide adequate safety nets for risk management are very important to our agricultural production,” said Brown-Reeves.

Richard Guebert Jr., president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, said the level of crop insurance risk should be maintained for producers.

“This is vitally important, especially in these volatile times of high input costs, high fuel costs and high raw material prices. We all know that at some point, probably sooner rather than later, commodity prices will fall and if they fall below the cost of production it impacts everyone, especially our young farmers and beginning farmers,” Guebert said.

The IFB supports increasing the area of ​​the conservation reserve program and updating the USDA’s no-competition rental rates, as well as increasing the Agricultural Services Agency’s loan limits and simplification of the process of granting loans to beginning farmers.

With respect to livestock, the IFB supports the repeal and replacement of the Margin Protection Program with a program that mirrors Federal Crop Insurance.

“The Farm Bureau believes that the next farm bill must be WTO compliant, provide price and income protection for farmers, and link nutrition and commodity programs,” Guebert said.

“This bill must continue to give farmers a choice between income and price-based programs and encourage stewardship decisions that maintain public support. We need to have conservation programs that are voluntary and help farmers achieve the goals of the nutrient loss reduction strategy.

Raghela Scavuzzo, executive director of the Illinois Specialty Growers Association, said some of the organization’s issues and concerns overlap with those of other commodity groups, including support for the block grant program for specialty crops and access to market.

“Market access is important for trade. While most of our farms are direct-to-consumer or in-state, when trade access is reduced, our farms are directly impacted because that product still has to go somewhere. If that passes through the grocery market, those are no longer available to small farmers who often try to sell produce at the grocery store,” Scavuzzo said.