Direct payments to farmers should be eliminated in favor an improved revenue insurance program and a contribution to federal deficit reduction.
A resolution to that effect was passed by Iowa Farm Bureau delegates at their summer policy conference Friday. “What we did was left the policy open saying we’ll remove the direct payments, but if we remove the direct payments we have to have a revenue protection product,” says Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Lang, “and it didn’t say ‘90 to 95 percent of your revenue’, but that’s what they talked about. We have to have a better safety net than we have today.”
The policy also calls for the ACRE program to be based on county, rather than state, yields and revenue—and to include revenue protection for livestock as well.
“They said we want to use it for what we believe is more of a private kind of actuarially sound revenue protection for everything we raise—not just the crops, but the livestock as well—so that it’s affordable on a county level,” Lang says.
Once a stronger safety net has been established, Lang says the balance of the five-billion dollars in direct payment savings should be used to reduce the federal deficit—something Lang says need to happen at all levels of the federal government.
“Farmers for the most part have said ‘we’re willing to do our share—we think we’ve already done our share,” he says, “but in order to be part of the discussion about this growing debt and concern over the debt being owned by foreign countries, we’re willing to do something—but we expect you to do something as well’.”
Delegates debated the idea of ending all federal farm programs, but those resolutions were rejected. Resolutions passed by the Iowa Farm Bureau will be forwarded to the American Farm Bureau for consideration at the group’s annual meeting in January.