Texas corn farmers today joined the growing chorus of critics who are saying the current version of the Senate's Farm Bill does not give farmers the freedom to choose the risk management tool that fits their operation. Corn growers in many areas, especially Texas, need options.
Describing the Senate bill's new Agriculture Risk Coverage program that covers some of the revenue losses not covered by crop insurance, David Gibson, executive vice president of the Corn Producers Association of Texas, said: "It's kind of like Cinderella's slipper; if it fits you, then you live happily ever after. If it doesn't fit, you're just out of luck - and maybe out of business."
"A one size approach will not work for all producers, all regions and all commodities," Gibson said. "When you combine the ARC program with other provisions in the bill, it will not protect our growers when prices decline sharply and remain low for several years."
Many Texas corn farmers are unable to purchase crop insurance that provides as much coverage as is available in other parts of the country, Gibson continued. This adds more risk to Texas farmers, their local communities and the state economy.
CPAT supports giving farmers the choice of using the new proposed ARC program or a price-based countercyclical program, which is under discussion in the House Agriculture Committee.
"This is about maintaining our nation's capacity to produce food. If farmers don't have the tools to manage the risks inherent in farming, they will go broke and our food production capacity will be eroded," Gibson said.