Texoma Farmers Get Update On 2014 Farm Bill - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Texoma Farmers Get Update On 2014 Farm Bill

A big announcement was made in Washington today. The news will have a big impact on Texoma farmers. The United States Department of Agriculture announced key Farm Bill Crop Insurance provisions.  The 2014 Farm Bill was passed in February. 


“USDA announced the counties where this new insurance program is going to be available for wheat farmers,” said Joe Outlaw, Professor and Extension Economist at Texas A&M AgriLife, Co-Director of Agriculture and Food Policy Center.  


The farmers are going to have access to new coverage which gives another choice, with more flexibility and a powerful safety net, according to Outlaw.


 “It’s a good thing, it’s a very good thing,” said Outlaw. “We’re kind of moving our farmer policy in this country toward insurance based products. This is a really big deal,” said Outlaw. 


 If you’re a wheat producer you can say supplement coverage options are available, said Outlaw. You can try out the insurance for three or four months, and walk away from it later with no withdrawal penalties, according to Outlaw. 


The Farm Bill took three years to pass, before it passed in February. Rules and provisions are just now starting to trickle out. The USDA had worked from February until now on getting rules in place, and now Outlaw said he expects nearly 50 more in the coming months. 


Joe Outlaw was speaking today at the Cattle Trails Wheat and Stocker Cattle Conference. He spoke on the new announcements, and the way to make your decision when it comes to the insurance. 


One farmer from Lawton, Oklahoma, said the new news could be very beneficial. 


“As we’ve seen the last three years with the drought that has affected the farmer’s income, and if they took lower protection they did that because of the cost factor,” said Marvin Wyatt, a southern Lawton Farmer. “Therefore it would give them an additional option on their farm, or stuff to cover their expenses.” 


The conference was not just about the 2014 Farm Bill updates. It talked on current expectations for the wheat and cattle markets, wheat forage and varietal update, and balancing health and nutrition programs. They also spoke on the current drought situation, and the recent rainfall.


“We still got a long way to go, but at least we are on the road to recovery now,” said Stan Bevers, Professor and Extension Economist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. “This fall as we start to think about planting wheat…we’ll be talking about what are the best things we can do and how we can make some money.” 


The goal of the conference was to have farmers gather information and takeaways that they can use to benefit their farms. 


“Well I'm just hoping to get some information to help make some management decisions,” said Wyatt. Especially “on what kind of things you have to do, like making some production practices, and mainly the management tool as far as prices and things.”

Brittany Costello, Newschannel 6

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