The South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) supports the bipartisan work of Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), John Thune (R-SD), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Dick Lugar (R-IN) who introduced legislation on Friday (S.1626) that would create the Aggregate Risk and Revenue Management (ARRM) Program. The bill is designed to simplify, consolidate and streamline existing commodity programs that were authorized as part of the 2008 farm bill.
“We appreciate Senator Thune’s work to introduce this bipartisan legislation which will provide a more effective and responsive safety net for South Dakota farmers,” SDCGA President Gary Duffy said. “This bill addresses many of the concerns raised by our state’s producers regarding the current Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program. ACRE’s complicated enrollment, application procedures and delayed payments have resulted in a very low enrollment in South Dakota and nationwide. We also understand the importance of doing our part to help with our nation’s difficult financial situation and are pleased to see that this bill takes responsible steps toward meeting this challenge.”
The proposed legislation will eliminate the direct and counter-cyclical payment programs. Unlike the ACRE Program, ARRM will be an annual election program with calculations to be based on planted acres. Program guarantees will also be based on a five-year Olympic average revenue from a Crop Reporting District instead of on a state-by-state basis. According to the Congressional Budget Office, ARRM would result in substantial budget savings of around $20 billion over 10 years, when compared to current programs.
“Crop insurance is still the number one risk management tool for farmers, but an effective and efficient revenue-based risk management tool that addresses gaps not covered by crop insurance is also important,” Duffy said. “We look forward to working with Senator Thune and the other senators as they continue their work with the Senate Agriculture Committee on the 2012 Farm Bill.”