NAWG president participates in farm bill panel

Last week, National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) President Gordon Stoner attended a Farm Bill Discussion Forum hosted by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), where he participated in a panel discussing what is needed in the 2018 Farm Bill to assist producers through this period of low prices and surplus commodities. Stoner said the consensus at the panel was that protecting crop insurance is a top priority, as well as addressing concerns of widely varied yields in adjacent counties for ARC-County payments. There is concern among farmers that using National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) data for computing ARC-county payments often results in widely differing payments between adjacent counties. Stoner said that in Montana, the belief is that crop insurance data would be a more accurate indicator than NASS data. In addition, the panel discussed the threat of reductions in cost-share conservation programs, acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Producers have made great strides in improved conservation and this program has been valuable in achieving those goals. NAWG commends and thanks Senator Tester for leading the discussion about future Farm Bill priorities and we look forward to working with him as the next Farm Bill develops.