What is in this article?:
- Soybean growers chart policy course during Commodity Classic
- Direct payments on way out
• The policies are raised, voted on and established as ASA priorities through an entirely farmer-driven process.
• It keeps farmers involved and it keeps ASA firmly tied to the everyday concerns of soybean farmers.
Direct payments on way out
Also in the farm bill discussion, delegates noted that in order to pay for the costs of improvements to crop insurance, SCO, and a decoupled target price program and to meet part of any deficit reduction targets, direct payments may have to be reduced or eliminated.
As has been ASA’s position throughout the negotiations, ASA encourages agriculture to accept its fair share of spending reductions, provided they are proportionate with cuts to other federal programs and do not weaken the federal crop insurance program.
The farm bill resolution approved by the delegates also contained language encouraging Congress to protect valuable programs streamlining conservation programs, reauthorizing and funding biodiesel and biobased education programs, agricultural research, trade development and food aid programs.
ASA’s delegates formalized the association’s support of a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement with the European Union that would provide meaningful market access for exports of U.S. soybean products and address trade barriers, including current EU biotechnology policies, and the Renewable Energy Directive (RED).
ASA continues support of funding for waterways infrastructure including additional and alternative financing measures that provide a steadier and more reliable funding stream to reduce project costs and timeframes for completion.
Biotechnology was also a key topic of discussion, as delegates voted to encourage the swift approval and deregulation of high-oleic soybeans. The delegates also established the association’s opposition to state food labeling requirements that go beyond those implemented by the federal government.
On regulatory matters, ASA’s delegates supported raising the quantity of on-farm fuel storage that would be subject to the EPA’s new regulations requiring containment plans and practices to 10,000 gallons or greater.
Delegates also expressed support for voluntary conservation and water-quality programs that are farmer led.
Finally, delegates endorsed the work undertaken by the soybean industry to develop a "U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol" that documents and promotes to buyers worldwide that U.S. soybeans are the world’s most sustainably-produced soybeans.
The resolutions passed by the delegates will be available in full on the ASA website,www.soygrowers.com, in the coming weeks.
(ASA has been active on the crop insurance effort. An example can be found at Soybean growers meet with RMA about crop insurance cover crop rules. On another front, Soybean growers ask Congress to commit to new farm bill).