First Of Farm Bill Informational Meetings To Begin Mid-January

Jan 07, 2015

U.S. crop producers have until the end of March to make big decisions under the new farm bill. To help with those decisions, Kansas State University is teaming with several sponsors to host 15 half-day educational meetings in January and February.

The crop prices used in the commodity program (farm bill) are the same for the entire United States. K-State has developed a data file with all county yields in every state across the country.

“We’ve had interest from farmers, insurance agents, landlords and others from out of state. For that reason, the Jan. 12 meeting in Wichita will include information about the new cotton program that is totally different from the grain and oilseeds. There is also a small cotton base in Kansas,” said Art Barnaby, agricultural economist with K-State Research and Extension. That is the only meeting in which cotton will be covered, and farmers from Kansas and other states with a cotton base are encouraged to attend the Wichita meeting.

For the meetings, Barnaby and K-State agricultural economist Mykel Taylor will travel the state to provide information on commodity programs and the economic tradeoffs between the options, as well as major changes to crop insurance. Representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Farm Service Agency also will discuss commodity program procedures.

Some producers have concerns that prices the USDA uses to calculate payments are not based on good data, but Barnaby said that is not the case.

“The prices being used to calculate payments are not random. There is good data being used,” he said. “With regard to wheat yield, we also know a lot about the numbers being used. To say ‘it’s a flip of the coin’ is not true.”  

The meetings will also cover decision aid tools that were funded by the USDA, as well as a new Excel-based tool developed by Oklahoma State University and K-State, which is designed to help agriculture producers make decisions as they examine their options.

Besides K-State, primary sponsors of the meetings include Ag Risk Solutions, ARMtech Insurance Services, Farm Credit Associations of Kansas and ProAg. Other sponsors are supporting the meetings at different levels.

Farm bill meeting dates and locations include:

Jan. 12 – Wichita

Jan. 13 – Pittsburg

Jan. 14 – Emporia

Jan. 15 – Ottawa

Jan. 20 – Salina

Jan. 21 – McPherson

Jan. 22 – Pratt

Jan. 26 – Goodland

Jan. 27 – Scott City

Jan. 28 – Liberal

Jan. 29 – Dodge City

Feb. 10 – Phillipsburg

Feb. 11 – Hays

Feb. 12 – Frankfort

Feb. 13 – Atchison

More detailed information, including how to register at a preferred location and details about supporting sponsorships, is available at The 2014 Farm Bill.