By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net
In the case of the 2012 Farm Bill vs. Congress, your Honor, I would like to put into evidence, this summer, as Exhibit “A”.
There are two things that aren’t doing quite what they are supposed to this season, crops and Congress. Of course, one has made the decision to do absolutely nothing for a good part of the year. The other is the fault of no one, yet some may be punished.
If there was ever a year that a Farm Bill is needed, it may very well be 2012. The rain has been a bit of a tease and the Sun has left little to the imagination, showing all it has and then some with temperatures well into the 90’s and even triple-digits a time or two.
This combination has left acres and acres of America’s heartland scorched and dare I say, looking pathetic. Looks are not deceiving when it comes to a corn or soybean field. What you see is what you get; there is no way around it.
Farmers are starting to get concerned. How can you tell? Well, they are actually voicing their concern. Usually if things start to get a bit hairy, farmers will just get quiet. Maybe they just don’t want to talk about it, maybe the silence is prayer. My hunch is the latter. If the prayers aren’t enough, they will begin to commiserate with one another and then you hear their concern.
As proof, the Ohio Ag Net Facebook page recently received this note:
If you want to see some seriously BAD crops PLEASE come to NW Ohio…For instance south of the Archbold area. There are many acres of
beans/corn that never even came up. There is corn in tassel standing at 2′. If you travel south west into Henry/Defiance County you would be shocked. Also heading west into Indiana is terrible.
As you might imagine, there are many stories around Ohio and the eastern Midwest just like this one. Crop Insurance agent’s phones are
ringing off the hook as farmers are beginning to realize that after 3 or 4 really nice crop years, this year just may not keep that streak alive. If it
weren’t for crop insurance, this year may have been their last.
This week, the House Ag Committee will “mark-up” their version of the 2012 Farm Bill. Granted, this version looks different from the version
the Senate passed weeks ago. Getting the conversation started is always a good thing, but once introduced to the House floor, it may take weeks to get through what could be upwards of 1000 amendments lawmakers will want to attached to the legislation.
The current Farm Bill expires on September 30th. If that date comes and goes without new farm law, the consequences will be dire.
Yes there will be cuts in the new bill that will affect farmers nationwide, but the effects of not having one at all are far greater. Certainty is a necessity for agriculture and a new Farm Bill will deliver just that. With all of the changes being discussed as the legislation progresses, the one thing that must remain the same is that the Farm Bill must be written for the worst times.
See Exhibit “A”. Case closed.