Beef Buzz News
NCBA Emphasizes Importance of Risk Management for Producers in 2023 Farm BillWed, 27 Jul 2022 10:01:47 CDT
Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, features comments from the Vice President of Government Affairs at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Ethan Lane, talking about risk management and farm policy.
Some of the policies NCBA is working on right now include the 2023 Farm Bill priorities and risk management.
“Whenever we go into a farm bill like this, the first step is kind of what we are seeing now, which is that look back into what is working and what isn’t,” Lane said. “What can be improved upon since the last farm bill and how circumstances have changed out in the country and what we need to be aware of that maybe wasn’t necessarily on the table or up for discussion five or six years earlier when the last farm bill process started.”
This time around, Lane said the farm bill is being worked in a different environment.
“There is a general sense and I think not one that anybody is really willing to argue with, that we are going to be dealing with a flat funding environment at best or probably a reduced funding environment more likely, and that is going to mean some real sort of hard looks and sharpened pencils at which programs are really delivering for producers, which programs need to be shored up, which programs just aren’t getting done what we need then to get done, and what programs maybe have changed since the last time we had this conversation,” Lane said.
For NCBA’s producers, in particular, Lane said they are focusing on things like LRP (Livestock Risk Protection), which was not a factor the last time the farm bill was worked on. Today, Lane added, LRP is a far more impactful risk management tool for cattle producers around the country.
Lane said the LRP program allows smaller producers and smaller operations to be ensured for price loss and that is something producers do not want to give up in the negotiations of the next farm bill.
“In particular, we have so few risk management tools for the cow-calf producer,” Lane said. “Especially sitting here in the west, PRF (pasture range and forage) has been really one of those tools that didn’t even exist a few years ago and just now has come on as kind of an important piece of the puzzle.”
Some changes have been made to the structure of LRP over the last few years, Lane said, and the subsidy level is more attractive now. The USDA’s Risk Management Agency, Lane added, is still looking at additional changes that make that program more approachable for producers.
“Compared to other risk management tools, one of the big value propositions is you don’t have to have cash upfront to get engaged in that program,” Lane said. “When you look at how producers can engage, it really creates a lower bar for small producers to benefit from it. You don’t have to have a big bank account to get started like you might hedging or doing some of those other things as risk management strategies.”
While LRP is a great program, Lane said it is different than what many livestock producers are used to. They are not used to going to a local crop insurance agent and buying a crop insurance policy, he added, so there is an element of education that has got to happen.
“Along with that, we are going to have to have a detailed conversation about education and how to use these tools,” Lane said. “We can’t just beef these things up and create them and expect everybody to google it and figure out how to use them. We are going to have to really work hard to make sure producers know what’s available, what fits them, and how they can take advantage of these programs to protect their operations and grow their operations.”
Click the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from NCBA’s Ethan Lane on risk management and farm policy.
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