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Soybean growers: House proposal too good to rice, peanuts

While rice and peanut growers have been claiming that the Agriculture Risk Coverage program in the Senate farm bill is too generous to corn and soybeans and provides too little protection for them, the American Soybean Association issued a news release Friday that the target price program that was in the bill submitted to the super committee on deficit reduction and that might be included in the House bill would be too generous to rice and peanuts.

The soybean growers cited an analysis issued by Gary Schnitkey, an agricultural economist at the University of Illinois, as proof of their point.

“What the Schnitkey analysis tells us is that inequitable target price levels among crops will result in real disparities in safety net protection for farmers. Such disparities in government safety net support is bound to influence planting decisions,” said ASA First Vice President Danny Murphy, a farmer from Canton, Miss.

“Regardless of what comes out in the end, soybean farmers need to have a risk management program that treats soybeans equitably with other crops and avoids government-induced planting distortions.”

If a target price program is to be included in the House Agriculture Committee’s bill, it should be fully decoupled from current year planting decisions, similar to the current countercyclical payment program that uses target prices, ASA said.