NCC Vice Chairman Chuck Coley, a Vienna, GA, producer, joined American Cotton Producers Chairman Jimmy Dodson, a Robstown, TX, producer, in meetings with members of the House and Senate agriculture committees in Washington, DC, to discuss the NCC’s upland cotton policy proposal approved at the mid-year meeting of the Council’s Board of Directors. The new policy addresses expected reductions in the agricultural budget baseline arising from deficit reduction efforts. Additionally, the new policy proposal is intended to address the findings in the longstanding trade dispute with Brazil.
The NCC leaders were joined in the meetings by the NCC’s President Mark Lange, Senior Vice President John Maguire and Vice President, Economics & Policy Analysis, Gary Adams. In addition, leaders from several regional cotton organizations participated in meetings with Congressional staff.
The NCC farm policy proposal was presented to officials of USDA and the US Trade Representative (USTR) in preparation for scheduled quarterly meetings with Brazilian officials conducted as part of the Framework Agreement. The Framework, put in place in June ’10, temporarily suspends any trade retaliation by Brazil but also calls for the dispute to be resolved as part of the development of the ’12 farm bill.
Future actions by the agriculture committees will, in part, be determined by the activities of the newly-created Joint Committee (see Aug. 12 Cotton’s Week). According to the timetable outlined in the Budget Control Act of 2011, the agriculture committees must submit recommendations to the Joint Committee by Oct. 14.
In other farm policy developments, the National Corn Growers Assoc. and the National Farmers Union released their policy recommendations for the ’12 farm bill.