Current high prices for land and inputs are indications that increased opportunities for corn growers come with increased risk. That's one of the reasons the National Corn Growers Association is seeking changes in the current farm bill structure.
"Every farmer's risk per acre is higher than it's ever been before," Assumption, Ill., corn grower Leon Corzine says. He added that farm bill legislation introduced by Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Sherrod Brown of Ohio will help protect corn growers against market shocks from low prices and low yields.
Durbin and Brown introduced the Farm Safety Net Improvement Act of 2007 in the Senate in late July to strengthen the revenue-based safety net outlined in the House version of the farm bill. NCGA and the American Farmland Trust are among the first agricultural groups to publicly support the proposal.
It's important the two-tier revenue protection program costs no more than the current patchwork of farm support programs and emergency disaster aid, Corzine adds.
With harvest nearing and senators back home during the summer recess, Corzine says it's essential that corn growers call their local senators and make their feelings known.
"Our financial institutions are very supportive of the revenue-based approach because they understand it is a better safety net," Corzine says. "That especially helps our young farmers and those who have tried to expand."