Recent News Kernels
Texas Corn Producers releases farm bill overview
With the Agriculture Act of 2014 signed into law, Texas farmers should now start looking ahead at the impact the new legislation could have on their farms. Texas Corn Producers has developed a brief overview of the decisions ahead for farmers across the state.
“Though there will likely be differences in our interpretation and the final regulations,” David Gibson, executive director for TCP, said, “this is a preliminary guide for farmers to begin educating themselves on the farm program decisions they will face this coming year.”
The information provided is based on the organization’s reading of the Agriculture Act of 2014, discussions with Ag Committee staff, and the assistance of the Ag and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University.
Farmers can use the Farm Bill Overview document to review some of the critical changes in the new farm bill, including the new farm programs Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC), Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO). It outlines how the programs can provide assistance to farmers when their farms face hardships.
TCP expects it will take several months for the USDA – Farm Service Agency to interpret and implement the new farm bill, thus farm program sign up will likely not occur until this summer – at the earliest.
The organization has also worked with AFPC to develop an online decision aid tool that will be available to farmers once the USDA-FSA rules are in place. Upon the release of this tool, TCP will host a number of educational sessions across the state to help farmers become familiar with how they can use the tool to determine the best option for their farm.
The overview document can be accessed HERE.
2014 Texas Corn Producers Board election results announced
In the eleventh statewide election since the Texas Corn Producers Board became a statewide entity in 1990, five board members were elected or re-elected in the organization’s biennial elections held in January.
Robert Gordon of Hartley County, Wesley Spurlock of Sherman County, Dee Vaughan of Moore County, and Steve Yoder of Dallam County were re-elected to their seats in Voting Region One, which encompasses the Northern Panhandle.
Additionally, Daniel Berglund of Wharton County was elected to serve in Voting Region Four, which covers the Coastal Bend.
The Texas Department of Agriculture ratified the results of the elections earlier this week.
Prior to the elections, TCPB divided the state into five separate "voting regions" so board members would more closely represent the corn interests of a particular region of the state. Likewise, all Texas corn producers would have representation on the board. As there are 15 board seats on TCPB, the voting regions are designed for each seat to represent 1/15th of the total corn production in Texas, as reported by the Texas Crop Reporting Service.
The five board members will be sworn in on April 9, 2014, during TCPB's next board meeting in Corpus Christi by Lance Williams, Texas Department of Agriculture. Each person elected will serve a six year term, or until the year 2020.
News releases and legal notices on the referendum and elections were sent to major newspapers in the regions where elections were held. The voting period was from Jan. 9-23, 2014.
The next election will be in 2016 with five seats up for election.
Farm bill's passage welcome news to Texas corn farmers
The Corn Producers Association of Texas acclaim Congress for its passage of the farm bill. Today, the Senate passed the Agricultural Act of 2014, the farm bill, with a 68-32 roll call vote, sending the legislation on to await the president's signature.
Having undergone five long years of debate, news of the bill's passage is long awaited.
“We're glad to see swift action by both the House and Senate to get the farm bill through Congress after the conference committee met a reasonable compromise," Jimmy Wedel, a Muleshoe, Texas, corn farmer and president of CPAT, said.
The association is further encouraged by the White House's statement this afternoon that President Barack Obama is expected to sign the legislation into law on Friday at Michigan State University, the alma mater of Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).
According to the statement, "the President will see firsthand the research that institutions like MSU are doing to create jobs and drive innovation that benefits farmers, ranchers, our rural communities, and our nation as a whole. Following his remarks, the President will sign the Agriculture Act of 2014 into law."
The bill offers the nation’s farmers two risk management approaches, keeps conservation programs intact, and strengthens crop insurance. This equips farmers with tools so they can determine the appropriate program that will ensure their farms’ ability to endure natural travesty or market shortcomings. The legislation is designed so such programs should only come into play should the farm industry face hard times. Yet, the security of a five-year bill is important for farmers in Texas as they look to make long-range plans for their farms.
CPAT Executive Vice President David Gibson again expressed appreciation for the dedication of the farm bill conference committee, and the House and Senate agricultural committees.
"The determination of the leadership of the House and Senate agriculture committees and its members was integral throughout this process," Gibson said.
The Texas Corn Producers Board, which is funded through a statewide voluntary checkoff program, began working with the Ag and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University to develop a farm program decision aid tool for farmers. TCPB and CPAT look forward to working with AFPC, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and other agricultural organizations to ensure farmers have the resources they need to make educated choices when they sign up for the new farm programs under the bill.
Texas corn farmers praise House passage of farm bill
After five tedious years of debate, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Agricultural Act of 2014, the farm bill, today with a vote of 251-166. For farmers across the state of Texas, the news is welcomed.
“The agreement on the farm bill presented by the conference committee is one that serves the bill’s role in ensuring food supply for our country, while also allowing for approximately $23 billion in 10-year savings for taxpayers,” Jimmy Wedel, a corn farmer near Muleshoe, Texas, and president of the Corn Producers Association of Texas, said.
The bill offers the nation’s corn farmers two risk management approaches, keeps conservation programs intact, and strengthens crop insurance. This enables farmers with tools so they can determine the appropriate program that will ensure their farms’ ability to endure natural travesty or market shortcomings.
“The farm bill is designed so such programs should only come into play should our farm industry face hard times,” Wedel said. “However, the security of a five-year bill is important for farmers in Texas as we’re looking to make long-range plans for our farms.”
CPAT Executive Vice President David Gibson expressed gratitude for the commitment of the farm bill conference committee, and House and Senate agricultural committees put into the development and movement of the bill.
“We’re thankful for the hard work of the conference committee, and the strong leadership of House Agriculture Chairman Frank D. Lucas (R-Okla.), Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) for successfully conferring a commodity title that’s impartial to any particular region, while achieving necessary reform and cutting the deficit – saving taxpayers’ money.”
Gibson also commended the notable work of the House and Senate agriculture committees, including Texas representatives K. Michael Conaway (TX-11), Randy Neugebauer (TX-19), Pete P. Gallego (TX-23), and Filemon Vela (TX-34).
“CPAT’s work isn’t done yet, as we look to pass this bill through the Senate and on to the President,” Gibson said. “Our organization will continue its efforts on behalf of the state’s corn farmers to get a five-year bill in place that provides for long-term agricultural planning our farmers need, and secures the high quality, affordable food American consumers expect and deserve.”
Texas corn farmers endorse Carnes for Ag Commissioner
“Texas agriculture needs the kind of fresh and inspiring leadership offered by J Allen Carnes to ensure that our state’s oldest and largest industry continues to grow and deal with the many challenges facing Texas farmers and ranchers,” Jimmy Wedel, president of the Corn Producers Association of Texas said.
“J grew up on a farm and ranch, makes his living from farming and has the business background to be an effective advocate for agriculture,” Wedel said. “When J talks about problems like water, highways, property rights and excessive government regulation, you can tell it comes from his heart and from his experience and it’s not just political rhetoric. He deserves the enthusiastic support of everyone involved in Texas agriculture.”
In addition to managing his family’s farming operations, Carnes serves as Mayor of Uvalde and has leadership positions in a number of agricultural and civic organizations. He lives in Uvalde with his wife, Brooke, and their three children.
“I am grateful to receive the endorsement of the Corn Producers Association of Texas,” Carnes said. “It means a lot to me as an ag producer to gain the backing of such a respected grower organization. This support is vital as I travel the state advocating for growers, producers and consumers.”
The Republican primary election will be held on March 4, 2014.