The Senate Agriculture Committee’s second field hearing, ‘2023 Farm Bill: Perspectives from the Natural State’, was held in Jonesboro. American Soybean Association President Brad Doyle of Weiner, Arkansas, testified there on the soy industry’s behalf.
In written testimony, Doyle emphasized the need for increased budget resources to write the next farm bill, commenting, “Soybean growers have legitimate needs for improving farm safety net programs for our crop. Meaningful conservation programs have greater farmer demands than resources that are available. As we work to diversify markets globally, trade promotion programs need greater investment. The same is true with energy, rural development, research and other programs. And we want to preserve, protect, and perhaps even enhance programs like crop insurance that are so important. We also want to maintain both agricultural and nutrition titles in the next farm bill.”
During his oral testimony, Doyle shared several key objectives important to producers of soybeans, the crop with the highest acreage and highest value of production for Arkansas in 2021, according to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Those objectives include:
• Improving the farm safety net for soybeans, such as increasing the soybean reference price for calculating ARC and PLC and providing the option to update base acres
• Protecting crop insurance, which is the most effective risk management tool that soybean farmers have and lenders value
• Enhancing accessibility of conservation programs and maintaining the voluntary, incentive-based approach that farmers appreciate
• Growing investments in the promotion of U.S. commodities globally, including MAP and FMD, as we continuously seek new markets
• Building opportunities for biofuels and biobased products, both of which hold great market potential for our versatile crop
The objectives shared by Doyle mirror priorities outlined in soy’s recently released initial 2023 Farm Bill Priorities, which include, among other priorities, improving the Title I farm safety net for soybeans; continuing the voluntary, incentive-based, flexible approach to conservation programs; investing into promotion of U.S. commodities globally; building biobased and biofuels opportunities; and ensuring broadband coverage is accessible throughout rural America.
Doyle joined fellow Arkansas commodity and agricultural organization leaders to provide input as the process of writing the 2023 Farm Bill begins.