WASHINGTON - The National Corn Growers Association applauded the bipartisan work of Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), John Thune (R-SD), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Dick Lugar (R-IN) to introduce legislation that will create the Aggregate Risk and Revenue Management (ARRM) Program. The bill is designed to simplify, consolidate and streamline existing commodity programs that were authorized as part of the 2008 farm bill.
We greatly appreciate the senators' work to introduce legislation that will provide a more effective and responsive safety net for America's farmers, NCGA President Bart Schott said. This legislation addresses several concerns raised by farmers regarding the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program, including overly complicated procedures and delayed payments when losses are experienced. We also understand everyone must do their part to help our nation with its difficult financial situation, and we are pleased to see a bill introduced that takes responsible steps to help meet this challenge.
The proposed legislation will eliminate the direct and counter-cyclical payment programs. Unlike the ACRE Program, ARRM will be an annual election program with calculations to be based on planted acres. Program guarantees will also be based on a five-year Olympic average revenue from a Crop Reporting District instead of on a state-by-state basis. According to the Congressional Budget Office, ARRM also would result in substantial budget savings.
While crop insurance is still the number one risk management tool for farmers, an effective, efficient revenue-based risk management tool that addresses gaps not covered by crop insurance is vitally important, Schott said. We feel the proposed legislation adopts the right kind of market-oriented approach in providing assistance when most needed by producers. We look forward to working with the senators as they continue their work with the Senate Agriculture Committee on a farm safety net for today's risk management needs.