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Sorghum Markets SU W 6 SUREACRE?


By Jennifer Blackburn

What is the No. 1 word used to describe the 2008 Farm Bill disaster and revenue assurance programs? –Complex. This word has not only resonated from farmers across the coun- try, but also by Farm Service Agency employees, legislators and many others.

The Average Crop Revenue Election and Supplemental Rev- enue Assistance programs outlined in the 2008 Farm Bill are designed to provide relief to America’s farmers, and even though these programs have paid off in many areas, some headaches have resulted along the way.

Kenneth Rose, a farmer from Keyes, Okla., said disaster programs began long ago as a means to ensure food secu-

“The biggest disadvantage of the SURE program is payments come far too late after the actual disaster.”

rity and feels there is a continuing need for these types of programs. He said they keep farmers in business and food production progressing.

On the other hand, he expressed discontent for the current programs, saying due to their complexity, it is diffi cult to assess how much his payments will be and when the pay- ments will come.

“The biggest disadvantage of the SURE program is payments come far too late after the actual disaster,” Rose said. “It is quite the waiting period and meanwhile expenses are ongoing.”

Rose had the same to say for ACRE and said with a substan- tial delay in payment, it makes these programs questionable when deciding if the programs will work for him.

While there are many provisions of each program, a spe- cifi c area of concern is the fact that tenants and landown- ers must sign up jointly for ACRE, giving full discretion to the landowner.

J.B. Stewart, another sorghum farmer from Keyes, Okla., said most people in a landlord position do not understand government programs and simply ask where to sign. While he admitt ed some of his landowners did not agree with him to sign up for ACRE, he stated it is hard to design a program that pleases everyone and feels administratively Farm Ser- vice Agency offi ces would have a hard time managing the program if this provision was to change.

Alternatively, Rose said some landlords like to stay away from government programs, which often lock farmers out of compliance.

“If the sign-up is separate, it would be easier for tenants to do what they need to do for their own farm, separate from the landlord,” he said.

Another provision of the ACRE program that has pro- duced varying opinions from many farmers is the trigger level for ACRE. Payments for ACRE are based on a state- wide trigger level.

According to Rose, Oklahoma Panhandle weather and con- ditions are opposite of that down state, and even though the entire state of Oklahoma benefi ted in 2008 from ACRE, he

SORGHUM Grower Winter 2011

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