“The commitment to farmers by Congress, especially the Cotton Belt Members who supported the farm bill, and the Administration to get this farm law into place this year will enable our nation’s farmers to continue producing safe, abundant, and affordable food and fibre,” said NCC chairman Ron Craft, a ginner from Plains, Texas, who attended the signing ceremony in Washington, DC.
“Their persistence on and support of this legislation means the continuation and enhancements of a much-needed safety net. I know this is especially crucial for US cotton producers as many are still dealing with natural disasters that occurred this growing season while others will undoubtedly face other harmful weather events ahead,” Craft added.
Going forward, the new farm law, which was forged within existing budget resources, will provide US farmers with stability and help them better manage their risk not only from weather events but swings in commodity prices and other global marketplace situations such as the current retaliatory trade tariffs on US agricultural products, Craft said in a media release issued by the NCC.
The new farm law includes many of the US cotton industry’s policy priorities – continuation of the Seed Cotton ARC/PLC programme, full access to the marketing loan programme, full funding for textile competitiveness programmes, effective crop insurance products, no reduction in arbitrary payment limits, and addressing overly restrictive family farm eligibility requirements.
Further, the adjustment to the ‘family definition’ for farm programmes will help resolve the unintended and punitive restrictions that resulted from the ‘actively engaged’ changes made by the 2014 farm law and ensure that all family farms are treated equitably.
In addition, the bill includes a yield update opportunity for all producers that will better align programme yields with current production levels. Report language attached to the new farm law encourages USDA to work with the cotton industry to make administrative changes in the cotton warehouse and shipping provisions to help ensure the timely flow of cotton to the marketplace. (RKS)
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