Finally A Farm Bill
(JEFFERSON CITY)–The Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) extends its appreciation to Missouri’s congressional delegation after today’s passage of the farm bill, known as the Agricultural Act of 2014. The bill passed the House Jan. 29 with a vote of 251-166 and cleared the Senate with a vote of 68-32.
“We are grateful our nation’s leaders were finally able to come to an agreement on this long-overdue measure,” said MCGA President Jim Stuever of Dexter, Mo. “We would especially like to thank Missouri’s congressional delegation for their support on the issue. With both senators and all but one representative voting in favor of the bill, we are confident our leaders understand the importance of Missouri farmers and recognize the state’s number one economic driver.”
The bill provides national budgetary savings by eliminating direct payments, while including important reforms to farm safety nets and maintaining a strong crop insurance program. In the 609 page bill, only 20 percent of funding is dedicated to agriculture, the remainder focusing on food assistance programs.
“Farming is inherently risky,” notes Stuever. “This bill isn’t perfect, but it provides farmers with some assurance that volatile weather won’t run them out of business.”
The new farm bill also provides re-authorization for key export programs such as the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program.
“Extending funds for MAP and FMD are key to ensuring Missouri and U.S. corn farmers remain competitive in the global marketplace,” said Stuever. “With one in every five rows of corn leaving the U.S. it is vital we build and grow strong partnerships with our foreign partners. Having worked closely with these programs through my involvement with the U.S. Grains Council, it is clear they are integral to solidifying those relationships with our trade partners and maintaining a healthy market here at home.”
In 2013 Missouri corn farmers produced 435.2 million bushels of corn. While livestock feed remained the top consumer of Missouri corn at 34 percent, 32 percent left the state as exports. Another 22 percent was used to produce ethanol. Learn more about Missouri corn production at www.mocorn.org.
Downloadable media assets for this article:
Right-click the link and choose "Save as." Captions for the photos are provided.