Legislation related to the next farm bill (the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018) was recently approved by the House Agriculture Committee. It includes critically important policies, not only for cotton producers, but also for the entire cotton industry. Because that legislation now moves on to the House of Representatives, the National Cotton Council (NCC) is urging them to approve the bill without any damaging amendments to farm policy.
Ron Craft, a ginner in Plains, Texas, and current NCC Chairman, notes that although budget constraints did not allow all of cotton’s priorities to be included in the legislation, the work conducted by the House Ag Committee should be commended. “Cotton producers rely on the certainty and predictability of farm law to obtain the financing necessary for capital investments and annual crop production,” say Craft. “Without strong commodity and crop insurance policies underpinning U.S. agriculture, lenders would be reluctant to provide financing to an industry operating at the mercy of weather extremes and volatile global market prices.”
Craft understands a strong farm bill also supports a healthy and thriving economy as evidenced by the jobs and economic impact made in the U.S. by the cotton industry. There are 20,000 cotton farms and other cotton-related businesses that employ 126,000 people who collectively generate more than $21 billion in annual revenue. “The current trade tensions further underscore the importance of having a strong, predictable farm policy,” adds Craft. “Cotton is heavily export dependent, and this farm bill will continue important policies to help U.S. cotton producers contend in a highly competitive global marketplace.”
As the unifying force of the U.S. cotton industry, the Memphis-based NCC’s mission is ensuring the ability of U.S. cotton industry’s seven segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.
Source: National Cotton Council