Peanut and cotton growers provided their input into commodity programs in the next farm bill during a hearing this week before the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.
Georgia farmer Tim McMillan testified on behalf of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation in support of maintaining the peanut provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program in the next farm bill. “If the PLC program had not been in place, I am afraid many farms in the Southeast would no longer exist because of the downturn in the farm economy which has plagued us the past three years,” said McMillan in his opening statement.
The Southern Peanut Farmers Federation includes member organizations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi and represents produce approximately 80 percent of the U.S. peanut crop.
Listen to McMillan’s testimony here: Tim McMillan, Southern Peanut Farmers Federation
National Cotton Council (NCC) Chairman Ronnie Lee told the panel that “market volatility and mounting economic pressures underscore the critical importance of an improved safety net for cotton farmers.” He said cotton must be brought back into the farm law’s Title I commodity policy as it “is the only program crop that does not have any long-term price or revenue protection policy in the farm bill.”
Lee, who is also from Georgia, told the panel that the U.S. cotton industry still is seeking to get cottonseed designated as a covered commodity and eligible for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs which could help until a new farm bill is passed.
Listen to Lee’s testimony here: Ronnie Lee, National Cotton Council