"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 government."
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
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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]
The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member
of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization
of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a nonprofit,
membership organization directed by farmers who join through
their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more
than 400,000, a voting membership of more than 82,000 and
represents 3 out of 4 Illinois farmers.