6/21/2012Advisor Newsletters - AEM Advisor
As the U.S. Senate continues general debate on the 2012 Farm Bill, AEM is active in presenting industry views. Tuesday it sent a letter to all Senators applauding progress but outlining concerns about several amendments up for consideration.
In the letter to the Senate, AEM President Dennis Slater warned that several of the amendments being considered when “taken in their totality, would jeopardize the farm bill’s value in providing a critical and much needed safety net for our food, fiber, feed and fuel worldwide.”
AEM cited IHS Global Insight data that 250,000 jobs, in all 50 states, are directly and indirectly supported by the agriculture equipment industry. “The security of these jobs is largely dependent on the health of the U.S. agricultural sector, making the farm safety net a key component to ensuring its continued vitality,” stated Slater in the Senate letter.
Accordingly, AEM then urged Senators to vote “no” on the following six amendments. The Senate could have a final vote on the Farm Bill today. The House will consider its version of the Farm Bill after July 4, 2012.
Amendments of Concern
- Senator Gillibrand’s S.A. 2156 seeks to cut $4.5 billion from the crop insurance delivery system. This amendment fails to recognize that crop insurance has sustained over $12 billion cuts since 2008. Crop insurance continues to adjust to the cumulative effects of these changes, record claims in 2011, and changes in store for 2012 and 2013. Removing another $4.5 billion from crop insurance would represent a real threat to the effectiveness of this program and the sustained health of the agricultural economy. FAILED AEM Position: against
- Senators Coburn-Durbin S.A. 2439 would impose means testing (income threshold of $750,000) and limitations on crop insurance protection, creating new barriers to participation for producers trying to obtain this risk management protection. This would result in reduced crop insurance participation, reduced ability to obtain needed operating credit and increased calls for ad hoc, off-budget disaster assistance. PASSED AEM Position: against
- Senator Paul’s S.A. 2181 would impose means testing (income threshold of $250,000) and limitations on crop insurance protection, creating new barriers to participation for producers trying to obtain this risk management protection. This would result in reduced crop insurance participation, reduced ability to obtain needed operating credit and increased calls for ad hoc, off-budget disaster assistance. FAILED AEM Position: against
- Senator Grassley’s S.A. 2167 seeks to place a hard cap on commodity title benefits at $75,000 per producer. While such a cap could be workable for operations run by a partnership, as each partner would have a separate $75,000 cap, it would prove troublesome to many single-operator farms, severely limiting their coverage. PASSED AEM Position: against
- Senator DeMint’s S.A. 2268 would bar the Department of Agriculture from providing any loan guarantees. This would deliver a heavy blow to the ability of many producers to obtain credit for such basic purposes as operating loans which are vital in a producer’s ability to plant a crop. FAILED AEM Position: against
- Senator Chambliss’ S.A. 2438 would require producers to comply with conservation standards in order to receive crop insurance and revenue insurance program benefits. This is a complete reversal from current policy and will reduce the number of farms protected. PASSED AEM Position: against
For more information, contact AEM’s Nick Tindall (firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 202-898-9067).
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