The U.S. Senate’s approval of a farm bill on June 21, is drawing mixed reviews from Oklahoma farmers and ranchers. The main concern, said Scott Neufeld, Fairview, is the lack of price protection in years when commodity prices are low.
“We’re disappointed that most of the risk management tools included in the Senate bill are revenue based with very little focus on the price components of actual marketing,” Neufeld said. “There is no mechanism to manage risk when steep price declines happen, and they will happen, and when they may last for several marketing years.”
As chairman of Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s Farm Bill Committee, Neufeld closely followed the Senate’s actions and believes they fell short of passing legislation that could truly help Oklahoma agriculture.
The northwest Oklahoma farmer is also concerned about the so called “shallow loss” provision of the Senate bill.
“We can manage crop losses up to 15 percent, but deeper losses need to be protected,” Neufeld said. “I would rather have real protection in years when deep losses are experienced than have minimal protection year to year.”
Despite his primary concerns for the bill, Neufeld praised the Senate for the bipartisan, timely effort.
“By quickly passing the bill, the Senate paved the way for the House to bring their version to the floor,” Neufeld said. “We’re looking forward to working with Congressman Lucas and supporting his efforts to pass a bill that will truly benefit all of agriculture.”