ASA backs 2024 Farm Bill: A boost for soybean farmers

The American Soybean Association (ASA) and its seven directors from Minnesota expressed strong support for the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024 (aka the Farm Bill). In a letter addressed to Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson and Ranking Member David Scott of the House Committee on Agriculture,

ASA President Josh Gackle, who grows soybeans in Kulm, N.D., emphasized the importance of the proposed legislation.

“We applaud Chairman Thompson for crafting legislation impactful for soybean farmers across our 30 soybean-producing states,” Gackle said. “Strengthening the Farm Bill is more important than ever, and we believe this legislation will significantly enhance the effectiveness and accessibility of the farm safety net, promote expansion and diversification of markets, and protect vital programs like crop insurance and the soy checkoff.”

Key Highlights from the ASA Support Letter:

  • Title I Farm Safety Net Improvements: ASA supports significant improvements to the farm safety net, which include adjustments to the soybean reference price, program calculations, and base acres. These improvements are crucial for addressing the challenges faced by soybean farmers due to high input costs, lower market prices, and continued concerns with the largest export market for soybeans.
  • Trade Promotion Resources and Food Aid: ASA supports the doubling of funding for trade promotion programs such as the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development program. These programs are vital for the long-term success of U.S. agriculture abroad. ASA also backs provisions to ensure U.S.-grown agricultural commodities remain central in international food assistance programs.
  • Protection of Crop Insurance and the Soy Checkoff: ASA supports protection of crop insurance, a critical risk management tool for soybean farmers. Additionally, ASA supports the continuation of the farmer-led, farmer-funded soy checkoff, which provides a high return on investment for soybean farmers.
  • Additional Priority Areas: ASA supports the historic investment in voluntary conservation programs, reauthorization and enhancement of biobased and biofuels programs, and other improvements that support financing, connectivity, and future innovations in agriculture. These measures include credit modernization, precision agriculture, broadband, research, and certainty in crop protection product labeling. The bill also supports the livestock sector, a significant customer of U.S. soy.

Minnesota legislators were split across party lines: GOP Reps. Tom Emmer, Brad Finstad, Michelle Fischbach and Pete Stauber voted in favor of the bill, while Democratic Reps. Angie Craig, Betty McCollum, Dean Phillips and Ilhan Omar voted against the legislation, citing funding cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

ASA looks forward to working with the House Committee on Agriculture to ensure the passage of the 2024 Farm Bill.

Strathcona farmer Jim Kukowski, who sits on ASA’s Executive Committee, said he hopes both parties can compromise to pass the legislation, which received a one-year extension in 2023.

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