Testifying before the House Ag Subcommittee Thursday, American Soybean Association President Rob Joslin expressed the belief that farm programs play an important role in underpinning the strength of the farm economy. But ASA is looking for ways to make farm programs more efficient, effective and defensible. Joslin says ASA encourages the Committee to determine whether and how modifications should be made so that the ACRE, SURE and crop insurance programs each play an appropriate role in supporting farm income when prices and yields decline.
Projections indicate ACRE may be a better choice than the traditional farm program for producers in the largest soybean-growing states. Joslin states ASA believes the revenue under ACRE can be strengthened and modified to make it more attractive in regions of the country where participation is low. He says ASA supports simplifying the ACRE program to make it more understandable and accessible to producers. He says the importance of an effective safety net for farm income has grown as the rising cost of farm inputs has increasingly pressured farm profitability - and ASA trusts ACRE can be made to work with a modified crop insurance program to provide one for all soybean producers.
Crop insurance has become an increasingly important part of the farm income safety net for soybean producers - and ASA actually doesn't support crop insurance reform in the next farm bill. Joslin says doing so would risk skewing coverage between commodities. However - ASA opposes cuts in the crop insurance baseline. ASA is concerned that income support provided under ACRE, SURE and crop insurance may overlap and make the programs less defensible as Congress looks for options to reduce the overall cost of farm programs.