WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In testimony before the House Agriculture Committee today, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Gerald Tumbleson said increasing the value corn growers obtain from farm programs, boosting market orientation of farm programs, and improving the efficiency with which taxpayer dollars are spent supporting agriculture are key objectives of a revenue-based 2007 farm bill proposal supported by NCGA.



Tumbleson participated in the hearing which focused on a review of current federal farm policy and views from various farm organizations on suggested improvements to be made in developing the 2007 farm bill.



"NCGA staunchly believes that good farm policy is a vital component to U.S. agriculture continuing to be a reliable supplier of feed, food and fuel for the United States and the world marketplace," Tumbleson said. "NCGA has developed a multi-tiered, revenue-based concept for the commodity title. Our proposal takes the positive aspects of the current program and develops a more effective safety net for growers."



Tumbleson said the proposal will continue to be reviewed by a number of distinguished agricultural economists and will continue to undergo peer review and evaluation by other commodity groups to determine how effective the proposal addresses the risk management concerns of their producers. The revenue-based program would replace the marketing loan and the countercyclical programs and directly target producer net revenue adversely impacted by significant crop losses, escalating variable production costs and depressed commodity markets.



NCGA's proposal includes two new programs, the Base Revenue Protection and the Revenue Countercyclical Program. These programs would work in a complementary fashion to assist producers when market revenue falls below target levels. BRP provides coverage against declines in farm-level, crop-specific net revenue while RCCP builds on this base with protection against declines in revenue measured at the county level, which is similar to Group Risk Income Protection in federal crop insurance.



Tumbleson's testimony also touched on the implications of the program meeting World Trade Organization (WTO) compliance rules.



"Coupled with the current fixed direct payments and a recourse loan program, BRP and RCCP would establish a safety net structured to meet current WTO rules for income insurance and safety net programs in the green box, and the RCCP fits within the amber box," Tumbleson said. "These changes could potentially offer greater flexibility for other agriculture support spending reported as amber box support."



In addition to commenting on the commodity title of the farm bill, Tumbleson's testimony addressed the importance of the other titles to producers and the corn industry, including conservation, research, energy and trade. He said growers view all agriculture programs as investments in America.



"Programs that encourage production of food, feed and fuel are a better expenditure of taxpayer dollars than the enormous cost of maintaining a secure and reliable flow of food and energy from unstable areas of the world," he said.



The written testimony is online at www.ncga.com.



The National Corn Growers Association's mission is to create and increase opportunities for corn growers. NCGA represents more than 32,000 members and 46 affiliated state organizations and hundreds of thousands of growers who contribute to state checkoff programs.



SOURCE: NCGA news release.