FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2015
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON (October 27, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson thanked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for releasing safety net payments to nearly half the farms signed up for Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC), and asked the agency to move quickly to provide the remaining payment to producers.
“Farmers have been negatively impacted by a rapid decline in commodity prices,” said Johnson. “USDA must move quickly to ensure that the remaining producers receive payments during this very difficult time.”
ARC and PLC are new safety net programs under the 2014 Farm Bill. Roughly 1.7 million farms signed up for the program, designed to help producers in times of low commodity prices. Across the nation, 96 percent of soybean farms, 91 percent of corn farms and 66 percent of wheat farms signed up for either ARC or PLC.
“The agricultural economy is in tough shape right now,” said Johnson. “Not only do producers need these payments, but it is critical that Congress act to repeal sequestration, which has reduced ARC/PLC checks by 6.8 percent.”
Earlier this month, NFU sent a letter to U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate leaders urging them to remove sequestration through a more deliberate budget process. The letter also reminded leadership of the cuts agriculture endured under the 2014 Farm Bill.
“Our members support deficit reduction, and these changes were promoted as agriculture’s contribution to that objective, but few outside of agriculture have shared the sacrifice,” notes the letter. “Yet despite these savings, farmers and ranchers will once again be asked to sacrifice in the form of reduced payments under these and other programs at the very time when they are most needed.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.