Safety net programs stressed at Texas farm bill hearing

Texas farmers told the House Agriculture Committee they need better safety nets in the next farm bill.

One of them was Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening.  “We support the continuation of PLC and the ARC programs.  We know the ARC program has some issues between counties.  We think the ARC county program should be looked at.”

Boening says cotton needs to go back into Title One, and he says some other programs need to be re-evaluated, too.  “The Dairy Margin Protection Program hasn’t worked.  It hasn’t worked for our dairy producers, and it definitely needs to be looked at.  We need a stronger program there.  Crop insurance.  Crop insurance is so vital with this state, so vital to every crop in this state whether it be corn, wheat, cotton.  All of the crops come very much into play when it comes to crop insurance.”

Beeville, Texas farmer Matt Huie told the committee his farm’s financial exposure has gone up drastically as the gap between production cost and the ability to insure the crop has widened.  He also says the payment cycle for programs needs adjustment.  “The payments that would potentially be generated by this year will not be available until next October.  We will refinance the 17 crop to plant the 18 crop before we get the payments from 16, so that’s a challenge for us.”

Huie says in Texas, most corn and grain is gone and they’re about to finish cotton harvest.

The House Agriculture Committee held their farm bill hearing in San Angelo, Texas Monday.


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