WASHINGTON — American Soybean Association (ASA) President Brad Doyle, a soybean farmer from Arkansas, testified during the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee’s hearing on Title I of the farm bill.
The hearing provided an opportunity for commodity organization leaders to discuss specific farm safety net components of the 2018 Farm Bill, including Price Loss Coverage (PLC), Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC), and Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL).
During his testimony, Doyle reflected on farmer feedback received from ASA’s 12 farm bill listening sessions, farm bill survey, and written comments received, highlighting two primary concerns of U.S. soybean growers regarding ARC and PLC: soybeans have an insufficient reference price and a low level of base acres.
“If there were ever a time that the farm safety net was designed for, it was the trade war in 2018 and 2019. Factors well outside farmers’ control structurally shifted, collapsing much of the demand for U.S. soybeans,” Doyle said. “If soybeans, the second-largest crop by area in the U.S., did not receive help through Title I during this critical situation, it is hard to imagine a scenario where the Title I safety net could provide meaningful help with the current reference price. It is clear that improvements are needed to make the farm safety net effective for soybean farmers.”
Read Doyle’s full testimony here. A video of the hearing is available here.
The current five-year farm bill is set to expire in 2023. In preparation for farm bill reauthorization, ASA will continue to engage with policy makers to ensure a secure safety net for U.S. soy growers in the next bill.
–American Soybean Association