Manager’s Article July 19, 2017

gayWith the farm economy front of mind, Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. met with the state’s senators on Capitol Hill this week to lobby for crop insurance, trade, tax reform and regulatory reform.
Guebert shared Illinois farmers’ concerns with U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Hoffman Estates, and Dick Durbin, D-Springfield.
“The farm economy has declined for the last three or four years, our working capital has deteriorated tremendously as well as the low commodity prices – whether it’s for wheat, corn or soybeans – and the challenges in the dairy, pork and beef industries,” Guebert told FarmWeek.
Also, while in Washington, D.C., Guebert joined state Farm Bureau presidents from across the country at American Farm Bureau Federation’s Council of Presidents and attended AFBF’s board meeting. Joining him in D.C.: Mark Gebhards, IFB’s executive director of governmental affairs, and Adam Nielsen, IFB’s director of national legislation.
Guebert said the upcoming farm bill dominated discussion throughout the nation’s capital.
He and eight other state Farm Bureau presidents had dinner with U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, which continues to hold farm bill listening sessions. Conaway hopes to bring a farm bill to the House floor late this year or early next year, Guebert said.
During visits with Duckworth and Durbin, Guebert outlined IFB’s 2018 farm bill priorities. President Donald Trump’s budget proposes deep cuts to crop insurance, IFB’s top farm bill priority.
“I continue to point out to them that in the drought of 2012, crop insurance did work for our producers and agriculture did not come back to Congress for an ad hoc disaster assistance program,” Guebert said. “It’s really important that we have that risk management in our toolbox.”
Duckworth previously expressed concerns about the impact Trump’s proposed budget would have on agriculture. After meeting with Guebert, Duckworth issued the following statement:
“The work of America’s farmers is fundamental to the strength of our state and our nation,” Duckworth said. “We should not be turning our backs on Illinois farmers or slashing investments that Americans living in rural communities rely on for public health, good-paying jobs, quality transportation and educational opportunities. I’ll keep working to ensure our farmers have access to the resources they need to support our nation’s food supply, fuel our cars and grow our economy.”
The Council of Presidents meeting included speeches by Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue by phone.
Guebert said Pruitt discussed EPA’s proposed rule to repeal and rewrite the “waters of the U.S.” rule.
Ewing Demonstration Agronomy Field Day will be held on Thursday July 27 at 9:00 am. Topics will include Managing Nitrogen for Corn & 2017 Growing Season Overview, Management Strategies for PPO-Resistance, Southern Rust Management in Corn, Insect Headlines in 2017 and Cover Crops: The Good, The Bad and The Practical. There will be a free lunch provided – Rain or Shine. Please RSVO to the Franklin County Extension Office at (618) 439-3178 by July 24.
Directions: From I-57, take exit 77 IL 1524/Sesser. Head east on IL 154 to IL 37. Turn left (north) on IL 37 for about ¼ mile and turn right on Ewing Road. Take this approximately 3 miles to Ewing and turn left on Main St *N Ewing Rd) in Ewing. Travel about ½ mil and the road to the Ewing Demonstration Center will be on the right. Look for signs.
For more information attend one of the upcoming forums – July 25th at John A Logan College from 1pm to 4:30pm or at Southeastern Illinois College on July 26th from 9am to 12:30pm. To register or for more information call Pam or Lan at (217) 607-1948 or (773) 556-3417 (cell).
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

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