Farmers identify regulations as biggest threat to long-term
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[December 14, 2013]
CHICAGO — Delegates and
attendees at the 2013 annual meeting of the Illinois Farm Bureau
rated government over-regulation as the biggest threat to the
profitability of Illinois agriculture in the next 10 years. The
answer was in response to a survey of 278 delegates, alternates and
other Farm Bureau members attending the meeting Dec. 7-10 in
"Once again, our members have identified government
over-regulation as their biggest concern for their long-term
profitability and longevity," said newly elected IFB President
Rich Guebert. "And it's certainly a concern that isn't
unfounded. As we move forward this year, our leadership team
will be looking for ways to work with our elected
representatives and government agencies to help ensure our
members will be able to continue to farm efficiently and
profitably, without unnecessary rules and regulations from the
Forty percent of respondents who answered the
open-ended question named regulations, governmental entities or
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the biggest threat
to profitability. This was the third consecutive year that
regulations were the most-often cited response to the question.
Respondents also mentioned the following issues as potential
threats to their profitability in the next decade: a combination
of higher input costs and lower grain and livestock prices,
cited by 32 percent; cash rents and land prices, mentioned by 5
percent; and lack of export demand for U.S.-grown commodities,
also mentioned by 5 percent of those responding.
When asked about their corn planting intentions for next
year, nearly 82 percent who answered the question indicated
their corn acreage would increase or remain the same. Nearly 51
percent of corn and soybean growers said they deliver their
products directly or indirectly to the ethanol or soy biodiesel
market. And 32 percent of respondents said that from a policy
standpoint, the Renewable Fuel Standard has the greatest impact
on their profitability. That's nearly double the 18.1 percent
who said the farm program has the greatest impact.
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When asked if they purchased crop insurance in 2013, 88.5 percent of
respondents said they did so. A nearly identical number, 88.1
percent, said they plan to purchase it in 2014.
The survey also gauged Farm Bureau members' opinions on where IFB
should prioritize its efforts in the next year. Completion of the
farm bill was the top response, followed by contesting unnecessary
regulations and maintaining ethanol policy.
Additionally, 71 percent said they strongly agreed with the need
for farm organizations to increase nonfarm consumers' understanding
of Illinois farming practices, while nearly 58 percent said they
strongly agreed that consumers' support of farming is important to
the long-term success of Illinois farmers.
"This is the third consecutive year we've done this survey, and
the results are always very telling," Guebert said. "As the new
president of the organization, the results will really help me and
the rest of the leadership team decide which issues are most
important to our members and should be pursued."
[Text from file received from
Illinois Farm Bureau]