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December 13, 2012

Young Farmer Worries About Farm Bill Delay

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

The lack of a new farm bill has many farmers and ranchers worried about the repercussions. Missouri rancher and chairman of the American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee Glen Cope talks about his concerns in this report from AFBF’s Johnna Miller.
Miller:It’s looking highly unlikely that the nation’s farmers and ranchers will find a new farm bill under the Christmas tree this year. Negotiators say the House and Senate aren’t close to a deal. Missouri rancher Glen Cope says Congress’s inaction is like getting coal in your stocking.
Cope:Our elected officials need to realize it’s crunch time and farmers are really stressing out right now wondering how they need to plan for 2013 to make sure that they have adequate income to pay the bills, to reduce debt and to make sure that their farm is viable for next year.
Miller:Cope says the 2012 drought should have driven home that message. 
Cope:We planted over 100 acres of corn this year and we were looking forward to having a good year, but unfortunately as spring turned into summer and the rains just were non-existent, we watched our corn crop shrivel up. Unfortunately we had nearly a zero yield on our crop. So if it wasn’t for crop insurance and offsetting the cost to plant that crop our farm would have been in a world of hurt.
Miller:And he says members of Congress should realize that he’s not alone. New versions of the farm bill enhanced crop insurance so that it covers more commodities. That’s a safety net farmers and ranchers hope they won’t need, but need to know it’s there.
Cope:Farming, it’s a little bit like going to Vegas. It’s kind of a gamble because you’re depending on Mother Nature. So it’s important that our elected officials get back to work and make sure a farm bill with good crop protection in place is available for farmers. It doesn’t matter how high grain prices are, if there’s no yield at the end of the harvest then there’s no income. That makes it difficult to get the banker taken care of and it makes it difficult for farmers to continue being able to farm the next year.
Miller:Johnna Miller, Washington.
Miller:We have two extra actualities with AFBF YF&R Chair and Missouri rancher Glen Cope. In the first extra actuality Cope says farmers and ranchers have reason to stress about no new farm bill. The cut runs 15 seconds, in 3-2-1.
Cope:As we approach the 2013 planting season, I think farmers in general are worried and they need to be because if we have another repeat of 2012 then it’s going to bring a lot of stress to farmers because we need to make sure that there is adequate crop insurance in case, god forbid, we’d have another 2012.
Miller:In the second extra actuality Cope says the drought made 2012 a tough year for his livestock farm. The cut runs 23 seconds, in 3-2-1.
Cope:As a livestock producer my whole life and being in the cattle business, I’ve never really experienced the crop side of it until the last few years when we’ve found it necessary to plant some row crops on our farm. Just having the experiences of the massive input costs that it takes to get a crop out was kind of foreign to me as a livestock producer, so this whole process has been very eye-opening. After a year like 2012 it really brings it all home to me the need for good crop insurance.
Miller:Newsline is updated Mondays and Thursdays by 5pm Eastern time. Thank you for listening.

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