Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Repairing The Safety Net

amanda huber
Amanda Huber,
Peanut Grower Editor

It’s time again for another Farm Bill. Like birthdays, it seems to come around faster than it did some years ago. 

Besides being another opportunity to get in front of our elected officials and remind them of the importance of agriculture to America’s well-being, it is also a chance to cover any gaps in farm programs. For the most part, the Price Loss Coverage program has been sound, but the U.S. Peanut Federation is asking for a couple of changes. 

At a Farm Bill Listening Session held in Newberry, Florida, Georgia Peanut Commission chairman Joe Boddiford said he is a fifth-generation farmer and is currently working on his 50th full-time crop. “Fortunately, I have a 28-year-old son who is following in my footsteps, and I want to do all that I can to make sure he is successful also. Good farm policy is essential for that to happen.”

He went on to say that Georgia’s peanut growers support the current 2018 Farm Bill PLC program for peanuts. 

“Unfortunately, input costs have skyrocketed,” he says. “We find ourselves with a reference price that is too low and that has caused the PLC program to not be an effective safety net. We ask the committee to increase the reference price in the 2023 Farm Bill.”

John Gray, who runs Williston Peanut and is also a peanut grower, spoke about the need for a voluntary base update on peanut acreage so that all producers could participate in the base. He also asked for an increase in the reference price to make the safety net viable again. 

“Peanuts are one of the cheapest proteins in the grocery store, and when recession hits, that peanut butter is what feeds America. We need to make sure it keeps doing that.”

You can read about the U.S. House and Senate subcommittee hearings on page nine. 

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