Discussions about the 2012 Farm Bill have begun across the country, and farmers are weighing in on what they consider to be the most important issues.
According to the results of the Cotton Farming June Web Poll, 70 percent of the respondents say that it would be helpful if the 2012 Farm Bill were extended for longer than its standard life span. Other issues brought up were farm subsidies, loan price and crop insurance. Sixteen percent of those who voted say it’s time for farmers to “get off the government dole.”
Following is a sampling of the comments that we received from Cotton Farming’s Web Poll respondents who wished to share their thoughts regarding how they voted:
• “All of the farm subsidies should end when the current Farm Bill expires. The only exception should be for natural disasters, such as floods and droughts, etc. Let’s kick the habit right now when this country needs it the most.”
• “‘End farm subsidies’ must have been written by a bureaucrat. I know he or she does not farm for a living to make a statement like that.”
• North Alabama: “The Farm Bill needs to be at least seven years long. Long-term decisions about equipment can’t be made with a short term Farm Bill, and cotton farmers cannot survive without a safety net even though the net has had holes in it during the last Farm Bill.”
• “I believe we need to get ready to be weaned off the government dole. Let the free market do what it has to do.”
• “The fixed costs one can deal with, but the increase in variable costs, such as fuel, fertilizer, weed control, possible pest control and seeds can throw a wrench in the engine of profit management. Our economy is suffering. Volatility of economic factors play a role in many businesses, and farming is no exception.
“I am a farmer of two years: The first year, the wheat froze, and, the next, no rain fell on the cotton after it was planted through harvesting. High heat and wind took their toll, but cotton was made in the field much to my surprise, due mainly to the type of seed that was planted. I had another farmer plant my cotton on the 3/4 to 1/4 contract. My quarter did not pay for my payment on the farm. So, we need subsidies, if the need arises, because the weather and economy are things that are variables (Or should I say fixed?) that we cannot control. A net is needed for those of us who ask ourselves, ‘Why are we doing this?’”
• “The Farm Bill needs to continue as is, but if you take away subsidies like the direct payments, then put more money in insurance and make it more affordable to carry the higher coverages for protection. Somebody has to continue to feed all these people and keep our food costs down in this country. We can’t continue the high cost of living with food added to the mix!”
• “I would be happy if they replace government subsidies with a loan price that is more in line with production, such as 72-cent cotton. Then, when cotton is a dollar, we don’t get help, but when it is 60 cents, we do. There also needs to be a cost of production increase figured in for the years when fuel and fertilizer prices are abnormally high.”
In this month’s Web Poll, Cotton Farming is asking its readers to identify where they farm and note any adverse effect on the cotton crop, as of early July, that is related to spring and early summer weather conditions experienced in their respective areas.
Cast your vote and share your comments at www.cottonfarming.com. The results of the July poll, along with reader remarks, will be reported in the August issue of Cotton Farming.
Web Poll Results
Would it be helpful to cotton farmers if the 2012 Farm Bill were extended for longer than its standard life span?
• Yes — 70 %
• No — 40 %
• It depends — 16 %
July Web Poll Question
Have you noted any adverse effect on the cotton crop, as of early July, that is related to spring and early summer weather conditions experienced in your area? Please identify where your operation is located.
(1) Delayed planting
(2) Increased irrigation costs
(3) Shift in insect pest spectrum
(4) Concern over fulfilling contracts
(5) No significant adverse effect