The American Soybean Association welcomed today’s announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that the agency will award $6 million to universities and state cooperative extension services for the development of web-based tools to assist farmers in choosing new programs within the Agricultural Act of 2014. ASA President and Iowa farmer Ray Gaesser issued the following statement on USDA’s announcement:
“As farmers in many parts of the country move ahead with planting soybeans, our minds are on the many different options we have under the new farm bill. The investment by USDA today will help farmers establish which of the new and complex program options will work for their operations. These programs will be in effect through the life of this farm bill—at least through 2018—so it is imperative that farmers have all the information available to make informed decisions.
“It’s important that farmers in geographically-diverse parts of the country have analysis from experts in their region to help them decide on the appropriate program, and the diverse institutions represented by the two consortia that will receive the funding will accomplish just that. This approach will provide farmers with tools developed by economists familiar with their specific crops, practices and growing regions. ASA supported this approach, and we are heartened to see that approach taken in today’s announcement.
“Moreover, while the bill’s Price Loss Coverage option will be familiar to many growers due to its similarity to the expired Counter Cyclical Payment program, the Agricultural Risk Coverage option is entirely new.
“ASA looks forward to helping our land grant partners and the state cooperative extension services providing our farmers with the tools they need to make these very big decisions in the months ahead.”