NBGA President Testifies On 2012 Farm Bill

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Dave Henderson, a grain producer from Cut Bank, MT and president of the National Barley Growers Association (NBGA), testified in Washington D.C. today before the House Ag Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.  The purpose of today’s hearing was to review U.S. farm safety net programs in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill.   Henderson, who has represented Montana barley producers on the Montana Grain Growers Association (MGGA) board of directors for seven years, appeared on a panel along with representatives of other commodities to testify on behalf of NBGA.

Henderson said, “Commodity title farm programs coupled with crop insurance are critical risk management tools for barley producers across the nation and particularly in high production risk states like Montana.  This was an outstanding opportunity for a Montana grain producer to tell members of Congress that a strong farm program must remain a high priority and a key part of the federal safety net for agriculture.”  

In his testimony, Henderson addressed the decline in U.S. planted barley acres.  He stated, “U.S. barley production has been in a severe downward trend. Over the past 20 years, the amount of barley grown has declined by nearly 50{4d08edaf359bc2115b18a651716ebd427a137946ddca2143fa23b3ea721061e4} and we predict continued loss of acreage and production to competing crops that offer better returns on investment.  NBGA believes the U.S. barley industry has lost significant competitiveness due, in part, to distortions in federal farm program support relative to other crops.” 

Henderson offered details on the specific programs than make up the commodity title of the farm bill and shared how those programs are working for U.S. barley growers. He said, “While barley growers generally support current farm policy, much of the “safety net” provided by the current farm bill has not been effective for them.”  NBGA will continue discussions with barley growers to analyze current farm programs and look at options for the 2012 farm bill.  


 NBGA is a national barley advocacy organization formed in 1989 to advance the national and international interests of US barley producers in the seven major barley-producing states of Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington. We work closely with federal policymakers, congressional offices and regulatory agencies to ensure our barley producers’ concerns are considered.

 Source: MGG

Posted by Kaci Switzer

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