Eye on Ag: Learning the Farm Bill - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Eye on Ag: Learning the Farm Bill

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The passage of a new farm bill in Washington was met with plenty of approval in the ag world...but also plenty of questions.

What does the new bill mean to producers?

Some of the many questions were trying to be answered this week across the state thanks to North Dakota Farmers Union.

Perry Olson has that in our Eye on Agriculture today.

The bill is law...and farmers should be pleased with it -- so says Mark Watne, the President of North Dakota Farmers Union when asked about the latest farm bill...

(Mark Watne - ND Farmers Union President) "The program is pretty good, we did pretty well with this program. Farmers Union is happy that we got what we got considering the gridlock and the budget. I think farmers will be happy with what they see but it won't be just a go in a sign up."

And that is the big question facing producers according to Watne...what program to sign up with -- there is a choice...

(Mark Watne - ND Farmers Union President) "They have to pick between what is called the ARC program which is the Senate bill or the PLC program which is the House bill. The House bill is reference prices like old target prices and the Senate bill like the old ACRE program but you can buy it at a level that is either county wide or at your own farm...there are just a bunch of options there."

And once you make that decision and you are locked in for five years -- so making the right choice is obviously key...and a bit of a gamble. Watne says a big plus for producers in his eyes would be the crop insurance situation where improvements were lobbied for, and won.

(Mark Watne - ND Farmers Union President) "The program got better. They actually put a few more dollars into crop insurance so you will have the opportunity to buy up your crop insurance levels to about 86 percent and that is at a subsidized rate which will make it easier to buy."

Heading into the first growing season with new law established...he says the ag industry is set up to have a successful few years...

(Mark Watne - ND Farmers Union President) "They should be very optimistic. There is an opportunity to have good farm income is good right now and I think this is an exciting time for agriculture."

All in all, Farmers Union 70 or 80 percent of what it was looking for in the bill...a definite win in his eyes. With your Eye on Agriculture, Perry Olson, KX News.

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