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October 2011

Senate and House Ag Committ ee leadership submitt ed a proposal Oct. 14 to the Super Committ ee recommending a $23 billion cut to agriculture over the next 10 years, including $15 billion from commodities. The proposed cuts would come from commodities, conserva- tion, and nutrition/food stamps. It was then expected that the Senate and House Ag Com- mitt ees would move very quickly together to craft a farm bill for submission by Nov. 1.

November 2011

The Super Committ ee must report to Congress on Nov. 23 with its defi cit reduction plan and prepare for an up or down vote.

December 2011

Congress is due to vote up or down on the full Super Committ ee package on Dec. 23. Then what?

If the Super Committ ee succeeds in cutt ing $1.5 trillion from the federal budget and both the House and Senate approve the plan, the country theoretically gets to move on to other priorities. If the Super Committ ee recommends any less than $1.5 trillion in cuts, the balance will be gained from an across-the-board reduction process called sequestration that must total $1.2 trillion.

Protecting your interests ad

National Sorghum Producers believes farm policy designed to support a strong and dynamic U.S. agriculture sector and the production of staple crops is vital. The freedom to farm concept and the counter-cyclical policies that have been in place for more than a decade have served this nation and its farmers well. The direct production fl exibility payments in particular have provided critical help to sorghum farmers – off ering capital farmers could tailor to their unique needs. We are proud to stand by this farm policy. However, if policymakers decide to abandon this approach in favor of more directed and conditioned assistance, NSP has off ered the following priorities:

1. We believe in maintaining and even improving crop insurance. Federal crop insurance, which is providing meaningful risk management tools to our producers, is a vital piece of farm policy, and whatever agreement lawmakers eventually reach, the fi rst priority should be “do no harm” to federal crop insurance.

SORGHUM Grower Fall 2011

2. We believe in building incentives for sorghum production into the farm bill’s Conservation and Energy Titles. The Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels from Section 9005 of the 2008 Farm Bill has had positive eff ects on sorghum prices, ethanol production and water use in areas around sorghum-based ethanol plants. Additionally, sorghum’s water-sipping characteristics should be applauded and encouraged as the nation faces greater water stress every year.

3. Any new counter-cyclical or revenue-based assistance must not discourage diversity or otherwise disincentivize production of sorghum as a drought tolerant, highly effi cient cropping alternative.

4. As programs become more tailored to risk, providing assistance only in loss situations, payment limits and means tests for producers should be eliminated.


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