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South Dakota Soy and Corn Groups Urge Federal Policymakers to Back Increases in Reference Prices

Posted on June 29, 2023
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Sioux Falls, SD – Agricultural commodity groups South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) and South Dakota Soybean Association (SDSA) are urging policymakers as they work on the 2023 Farm Bill to update statutory reference prices used in the Commodity Title of that legislation.

Currently reference prices are critically low across the board for program crops compared to their break-even cost of production according to grower groups’ testimony at a recent House Agriculture General Farm Commodities, Risk Management, and Credit Subcommittee hearing.

Dave Ellens, President of the SDCGA, notes, “Initiatives for the Farm Bill were a top priority of conversation at our board meeting yesterday. The fact that when the reference price for corn doesn’t meet break-even it’s not an effective long-term safety net that will help farmers continue to grow food or fuel for our Nation. From a budget perspective, it’s more cost effective to make this type of improvement during current market conditions compared to the last Farm Bill.”

“Reference prices are so outdated that even the low commodity prices in 2020 did not trigger payments to assist farm families. The safety net for U.S. food security will not work without increased reference prices.”, said Kevin Deinert, President of the South Dakota Soybean Association.

The current statutory reference prices per bushel for corn and soybeans are $3.70 and $8.40.


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