National Farmers’ Paul says farm bill content unknown; highlights trade, captive supply

At the recent National Farmers’ annual convention in Mason, Ohio, National Farmers Ag Policy Coordinator Gene Paul, Delavan, Minnesota, said with ag policy there are more questions than answers about positions that may be reflected in the next farm bill.

However, the goal of congressional agricultural committees, Paul said, is to pass a new farm bill this year, before the current one expires. Paul joined National Farmers’ top officers and talked about trade and its importance.

“This is an area where we have gotten mixed signals. We don’t really know if the country’s policy right now is to renegotiate or walk away….Trade impacts farmers very much,” he said.

“With no real programs to limit the growth of production, we have to rely on export markets to help move that extra supply,” Paul said.

A Congressional Budget Office study pointed out financial savings for limiting crop insurance payment amounts to any one individual producer. National Farmers has long supported crop insurance and members have a vested interest in the topic with National Farmers Crop Insurance agency covering most Midwest and Plains states.

Paul also addressed concerns about captive supply situations expanding to the grain industry. Some agribusinesses are requiring producers who secure financing through their financial divisions to market crops through their companies, as well.

Dairy co-ops, too, are following the captive supply trend, Paul said. With no growth management plan in place, dairy processing plants are sourcing their supply of milk from dairies closer to the plant, leaving many dairy farms without a market.

That circumstance puts dairy producers in the same position as livestock and grain producers regarding a captive supply situation, Paul said. “We need to keep working to help producers find markets.

National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.

National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. For more information about National Farmers, visit or call 800-247-2110.