In a typical year, funding for the Commodity Credit Corporation is one of the least controversial items on Capitol Hill. However, as we’ve learned the hard way, 2020 is not your typical year. Andrew Walmsley, senior director of congressional relations with the American Farm Bureau, said CCC funding is in jeopardy unless Congress approves money that USDA needs to support farmer and ranchers.
“Authority granted by Congress has provided funding to stabilize and support farm income and commodity prices, along with conservation practices. This is something that’s usually not been controversial up until last year, but now, some seem to be playing politics with what’s normally a routine practice in Congress.”
Walmsley said without CCC replenishment, key Farm Bill commodity support and conservation program funding will be delayed. And he noted many of those programs enjoyed overwhelming support when the 2018 Farm Bill was approved. Walmsley added this delay could not come at a worse time for the Ag community.
“We’re seeing impacts from lockdowns and the COVID-19 pandemic to the farm economy. Agricultural trade continues to face headwinds; farm-level cash receipts are at decade lows; commodity prices remain low; farm debt is record high; working capital has been cut in half. Farmers and ranchers need all the assistance they can find, and USDA needs the immediate resources for an immediate reimbursement to the Commodity Credit Corporation.”
AFBF, along with dozens of other organizations sent a letter to Congress requesting replenishment of the CCC. Walmsley said farmers and ranchers can also help by reaching out to their members of Congress.
“We’re in negotiations so nothing is determined yet, but picking up the phone or sending an email to your member of Congress, in particular your senator as we’re seeing some of these challenges really crop up in the Senate, let them know how important farm bill programs are and how tough it is in farm country. We’ll hopefully move this discussion along and we won’t see the CCC replenishment jeopardized.”
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