Farmers say farm bill needs to address the base acres problem

Farmers argue the next farm bill needs to address the inequities in farm programs caused by how base acres are calculated.

Mark Hoffmann farms near Whitewater in southern Wisconsin and is the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association President. “We need to keep the crop insurance, and then market development and then market access. We need to keep that stuff there, and bring money if we need to, if we can find some to help out a little bit, and that’s kind of our big things, those three things.”

He says nationally, corn growers at the last Corn Congress meetings supported a mandatory update to the base acres for USDA programs, to accurately reflect what’s being produced today. “The comment that South Dakota had was last time we did this, we didn’t grow soybeans and now we do, and there’s a lot of soybeans grown out there, but as far as corn acres, corn is not going to change a lot on the base acres because it was there before.”
Farmer Kevin Hoyer from West Salem, Wisconsin agrees, saying states like Wisconsin lose under the present system. “One size fits all just doesnt’ work within this farm bill. Specifically, when we look at farm programs that quite often are coupled to base acres. Base acres take into account certain crops and what was grown historically, but as we all know, agriculture has evolved.”

Hoyer says the farm bill needs to allow changes in base acres to reflect what agriculture is today, and not what it was 30-to-50 years ago.

About two hundred farmers and farm organization representatives outlined their farm bill priorities for House Ag Committee Chairman Glenn GT Thompson Wednesday in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

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