2023 Farm Bill Priorities: Indiana Corn Growers Take Action in Washington, D.C.
Eleven farmer leaders from Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) joined staff in Washington, D.C. July 17-20 for the Corn Congress and Action Team meetings. These farmer leaders included Mike Beard (Clinton County), Chris Cherry (Hancock County), Scott Smith (Tipton County), Tyler Everett (Boone County), David Ring (Dubois County), Tim Gauck (Decatur County), Matthew Lucas (Jackson County), Jerry Osterholt (Huntington County), JR Roesner (Dubois County), Tom Murphy (Porter County) and Janis Highley (Huntington County). During their time in D.C., they volunteered a full day of visiting our federal legislators to advocate for 2023 Farm Bill priorities and agriculture policies important to the state’s corn farmers.
The 2018 Farm Bill expires in September, and legislators are currently going through an extensive process of updates, proposals and debates before the new bill will be passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. Indiana corn farmer leaders called upon Indiana delegation and pertinent committee members to support the following priorities in the 2023 Farm Bill:
- Strengthen the safety net. Corn growers request that commodity programs, like Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), are strengthened to provide farmers with a safety net when they face significant drops in crop prices or revenues.
- Protect and enhance crop insurance to assist with volatile weather and crop loss. This is the most important part of the farm bill for many growers, and crop insurance must be protected and strengthened. Our farmers shared the need to increase the affordability of crop insurance for producers.
- Bolster market development. Corn producers would like to see increased funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD). Both programs are vital to the prosperity of U.S. agriculture and related businesses to provide a return on investment.
In addition to Farm Bill priorities, our farmer leaders expressed appreciation for the US Trade Representative requesting a dispute settlement consultation with Mexico after Mexico issued a revised decree to ban biotech corn for human consumption. Over ninety percent of corn grown in the U.S. is biotech, and Mexico is typically the number one market for U.S. corn. Banning biotech corn is not based on sound science and threatens the wellbeing of corn growers.
Our farmer-leaders also advocated Indiana’s federal legislators to open the market and remove barriers to higher blends of ethanol. Biofuels provide energy, environmental and economic solutions. Indiana’s farmer leaders asked that Congress members step in and work with EPA to update our fuel policies through equitable credits for flex-fuel vehicles and technology-neutral vehicle standards. We also encouraged members of Congress to co-sponsor the Next Generation Fuels Act to modernize liquid fuels and ensure they remain competitive, relevant and affordable.