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La. sugarcane industry supports farm bill; against bad farm bill amendments
5/9/2018 1:00:11 PM
Louisiana's 11 raw sugar factories, its two sugar refineries and the American Sugar Cane League today joined hundreds of other agricultural interests in a broad coalition letter to Congressional members urging them to reject any farm bill amendments that could hurt America's farming families, said League president Charles Schudmak.

Charles SchudmakIn addition to the League, the American Farm Bureau Federation, more than 45 farm credit banks, the National Milk Producers Federation, National Cotton Council, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Texas Corn Council and United Fresh Produce Association and dozens of other ag industry groups signed the letter against bad farm bill amendments.

Schudmak is the chief operating officer of Cora-Texas Manufacturing, a raw sugar mill in White Castle, La., which has been operating for 201 years. He said three possible farm bill amendments favored by farm bill opponents would gut crop insurance, undermine sugar policy and impose unworkable payment limits.

"Nationally, farm income has fallen 52 percent over the last few years and has created a farm recession that is now five years old. Any amendments slashing the farm safety net could jeopardize full passage on the House of Representative floor,” Schudmak said. "The worst proposed amendment from myperspective is the so-called ‘Sugar Policy Modernization Act’ and what sugarcane farmers are calling the ‘Sugar Farmer Bankruptcy Bill.’

"If the Sugar Farmer Bankruptcy Bill amendment is included in the House farm bill, we will urge the Louisiana delegation and other champions of production agriculture to actively seek the defeat of that bill.It really should be a quite simple: current United States sugar policy operates at zero cost to the taxpayer. I'd hate to see the farm bill work go back to the drawing board, if that would even be possible before the September expiration of the current farm bill. Failure to pass a farm bill before the current one expires creates uncertainty for farmers planting fall and winter crops, and that uncertainty grows as farmers meet with their bankers to arrange financing for the next year's farm cycle. I can't imagine that this uncertainty is a desirable backdrop to the campaign season ahead.”

Schudmak said Cora-Texas, Alma Plantation, Cajun Sugar Company, Enterprise Factory, Lafourche Sugars Corp., Louisiana Sugarcane Co-Operative, Lula Sugar Factory, Raceland Raw Sugar Corp., St. MarySugar Co-Op, Sterling Sugars Inc. and Westfield Sugar Factory, as well as sugar refineries ASR/Domino Sugar of Chalmette and Louisiana Sugar Refining in Gramercy, all signed the letter urging defeat of any harmful farm billamendments.

Schudmak said at the close of business May 8, nearly 300 farm groups added their opposition to poison-pill amendments attacking the vital U. S. farm safety net.

A full transcript of the May 8 letter with all the farm group signatories may be found below.



May 9, 2018

The Honorable

United States House

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman:

The undersigned organizations write to urge your strong opposition to amendments that could critically hurt farm families during House floor consideration of the farm bill.

Net farm income has fallen by 52 percent in recent years, the steepest decline since the Great Depression. Today, rural America is suffering under an agriculture recession that is entering its fifth year and farmers are struggling to deal with this challenge.

A core purpose of a farm bill at any time is to help the country’s farmers and ranchers weather factors beyond their control, including natural disasters, disease, and high and rising foreign subsidies, tariffs, and non-tariff trade barriers. This is especially true during hard economic times.

The farm bill reported by the House Agriculture Committee abides by the Committee’s commitments under the FY 2018 budget resolution and is on target to contribute more than $112 billion to deficit reduction over the next 10 years. These savings are roughly five times greater than initially pledged.

Given current economic conditions and the fiscal achievements of the farm bill, we strongly urge members not to impose even greater burdens on farmers by attaching harmful amendments during House floor consideration of the farm bill.

While a number of potentially harmful proposals have surfaced in recent weeks, three possible amendments most frequently reported on by the media propose to gut crop insurance, undermine sugar policy and impose unworkable payment limits. We oppose these and any other amendments to H.R. 2 that would harm American farmers and ranchers and jeopardize passage of the bill on the House floor. During a prolonged recession in agriculture, failure to pass a farm bill on time would undermine the financial security of America’s food, fuel, crop and fiber producers.

We respectfully urge you to avoid this outcome by rejecting all harmful amendments.

Sincerely,

Ag Credit, ACA

Ag New Mexico, FCS, ACA

AgChoice Farm Credit

AgCountry Farm Credit Services

AgFirst Farm Credit Bank

AgHeritage Farm Credit Services

AgPreference, ACA

AgriBank, FCB

Agricultural Council of Arkansas

Agricultural Retailers Association

AgSouth Farm Credit

AgTexas

AgVantis, Inc.

AimBank

Alabama Ag Credit, ACA

Alabama Corn and Soybean Association

Alabama Cotton Commission

Alabama Farm Credit, ACA

Alabama Farmers Federation

Alabama Peanut Producers Association

Alaska Farm Bureau

Alma Plantation

Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC

Amcot

American AgCredit

American Agriculture Movement of Tennessee

American Association of Crop Insurers

American Crystal Sugar Company

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers

American Soybean Association

American Sugar Alliance

American Sugar Cane League

American Sugar Refining Company (ASR)

American Sugarbeet Growers Association

AmericanHort

ArborOne Farm Credit

Arizona Cotton Ginners Association

Arizona Cotton Growers Association

Arizona Farm Bureau Federation

Arkansas Cotton Ginners Association

Arkansas Cotton Warehouse Association

Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation

Arkansas Rice Federation

Arkansas Rice Growers Association

Association of Equipment Manufacturers

Autauga Quality Cotton Association

Big Horn Basin Beet Growers Association

Big Horn County Sugar Beet Growers Association

Blackland Cotton and Grain Producers Association

Cajun Sugar Company

Calcot, Ltd.

California & Hawaiian Sugar Company (C&H)

California Association of Wheat Growers

California Beet Growers Association

California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association

California Rice Commission

Cape Fear Farm Credit

Capital Farm Credit

Carolina Farm Credit

Carolinas Cotton Growers Cooperative

Central Kentucky Ag Credit

CoBank

Colonial Farm Credit

Colorado Association of Wheat Growers

Colorado Corn

Colorado Corn Growers Association

Colorado Farm Bureau

Colorado Sorghum Association

Colorado Sugarbeet Growers Association

Compeer Financial

Connecticut Farm Bureau Association

Cooperative Network

Cora-Texas MFG. Co., Inc.

Cotton and Grain Producers of Lower Rio Grande Valley

Cotton Growers Warehouse Association

Cotton Producers of Missouri

Cotton Warehouse Association of America

Cottonseed and Feed Association

Crop Growers, LLP

Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau

Crop Insurance Professionals Association

Delaware Farm Bureau

Delta Council

Domino Sugar

El Paso Valley Cotton Association

Elwyhee Beet Growers Association

Enterprise Factory (M.A. Patout & Son Ltd.)

Exotic Wildlife Association

Farm Credit Bank of Texas

Farm Credit Council

Farm Credit East

Farm Credit Illinois

Farm Credit Mid-America

Farm Credit Midsouth

Farm Credit of Central Florida

Farm Credit of New Mexico

Farm Credit of Northwest Florida, ACA

Farm Credit of the Virginias, ACA

Farm Credit of Western Kansas, ACA

Farm Credit Services of America

Farm Credit Southeast Missouri

FCS Financial, ACA

First United Bank

FJGarnier Company

Florida Cattlemen's Association

Florida Crystals Corporation

Florida Farm Bureau Federation

Florida Peanut Producers Association

Florida Sugar Cane League

Fresno Madera Farm Credit

Frontier Farm Credit

Georgia Cotton Commission

Georgia Farm Bureau Federation

Georgia Peanut Commission

Golden State Farm Credit, ACA

Great Plains Canola Association

GreenStone Farm Credit Services

GROWMARK

Idaho AgCredit, ACA

Idaho Barley Commission

Idaho Farm Bureau Federation

Idaho Grain Producers Association

Idaho Sugarbeet Growers Association

Illinois Corn Growers Association

Illinois Farm Bureau

Independent Community Bankers of America

Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America

Indiana Corn Growers Association

Indiana Farm Bureau

Indiana Soybean Alliance

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation

Iowa Institute for Cooperatives

Kansas Association of Conservation Districts (KACD)

Kansas Association of Wheat Growers

Kansas Cooperative Council

Kansas Corn Growers Association

Kansas Cotton Association

Kansas Farm Bureau

Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association

Kansas Soybean Association

Kentucky Corn Growers Association

Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation

Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association

Lafourche Sugars Corp.

Legacy Ag, Credit, ACA

Louisiana Cotton & Grain Association

Louisiana Cotton Ginners Association

Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation

Louisiana Independent Cotton Warehouse Association

Louisiana Independent Rice Producers Association

Louisiana Land Bank, ACA

Louisiana Rice Producers Group

Louisiana Sugar Cane Co-Op., Inc.

Louisiana Sugar Refining, LLC

Lula Sugar Factory

Maryland Farm Bureau

Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation

Michigan Farm Bureau

Michigan Sugar Company

MidAtlantic Farm Credit

Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative

Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers

Minnesota Canola Council

Minnesota Corn Growers Association

Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation

Minnesota Soybean Growers Association

Mississippi Cotton Ginners Association

Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation

Mississippi Land Bank, ACA

Mississippi Peanut Growers Association

Mississippi Rice Council

Mississippi Soybean Association

Missouri Corn Growers Association

Missouri Cotton Ginners Association

Missouri Farm Bureau Federation

Missouri Rice Council

Montana Farm Bureau Federation

Montana Grain Growers Association

Montana-Dakota Beet Growers Association

Moss Capital Management, Inc.

National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture

National Association of Wheat Growers

National Barley Growers Association

National Christmas Tree Association

National Corn Growers Association

National Cotton Council

National Cotton Ginners Association

National Cottonseed Products Association

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

National Council of Textile Organizations

National Milk Producers Federation

National Onion Association

National Peach Council

National Pecan Federation

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

National Sorghum Producers

National Sunflower Association

NEBCO Beet Growers Association

Nebraska Corn Growers Association

Nebraska Farm Bureau

Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board

Nebraska Grain Sorghum Producers Association

Nebraska Soybean Association

Nebraska Sugarbeet Growers Association

Nebraska Wheat Growers Association

Nevada Farm Bureau Federation

New Jersey Farm Bureau

New Mexico Cotton Ginners Association

New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau

New Mexico Pecos Valley Farmers Association

New Mexico Sorghum Association

New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association

New York Farm Bureau

North Carolina Cotton Producers Association

North Carolina Farm Bureau

North Carolina Peanut Growers Association

North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association

North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission

North Dakota Corn Growers Association

North Dakota Farm Bureau

North Dakota Grain Growers Association

Northern Canola Growers Association

Nyssa-Nampa Sugarbeet Growers Association

Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation

Ohio Soybean Association

Oklahoma Cotton Council

Oklahoma Farm Bureau

Oklahoma Sorghum Association

Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association

Oregon Dairy Farmers Association
Oregon Farm Bureau Federation

Oregon Wheat Growers League

Oregonians for Food and Shelter

Palmetto AgriBusiness Council

Panhandle Peanut Growers Association

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau

Plains Cotton Cooperative Association

Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

Premier Farm Credit

ProCot Cooperative

Raceland Raw Sugar Corp.

Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association

Rhode Island Farm Bureau Federation

Riceland Foods

Rio Grande Sugar Valley Sugar Growers

River Valley AgCredit, ACA

Rolling Plains Cotton Growers Association

Select Milk Producers, Inc.

Sidney Sugars Incorporated

Society of American Florists

South Carolina Cotton Board

South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation

South Carolina Peach Council

South Dakota Corn Growers Association

South Dakota Farm Bureau

South Texas Cotton & Grain Association

Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association

Southern Cotton Ginners Association

Southern Cotton Growers, Inc.

Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative

Southern Montana Sugarbeet Growers Association

Southern Peanut Farmers Federation

Southern Rolling Plains Cotton Growers Association

Southwest Council of Agribusiness

Spreckels Sugar Company

St. Lawrence Cotton Growers Association

St. Mary Sugar Co-op. Inc.

Staple Cotton Cooperative Association

Sterling Sugars, Inc.

Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida

Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation

Texas Agribusiness Insurance

Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council

Texas Agricultural Irrigation Association

Texas Corn Producers Association

Texas Cotton Ginners Association

Texas Cotton Producers, Inc.

Texas Farm Bureau

Texas Farm Credit

Texas Grain and Feed Association

Texas Rice Council

Texas Rice Producers Legislative Group

Texas Seed Trade Association

Texas Sorghum Producers

Texas Soybean Association

Texas Wheat Producers Association

Trans Pecos Cotton Association

U.S. Canola Association

U.S. Sugar

U.S. Sweet Potato Council

United Dairymen of Arizona

United Fresh Produce Association

United States Beet Sugar Association

US Dry Bean Council

US Rice Producers Association

USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council

USA Rice Federation

Utah Farm Bureau Federation

Virginia Cotton Growers Association

Virginia Farm Bureau Federation

Virginia Grain Producers Association

Virginia Peanut Growers Association

Virginia Soybean Association

Washington Association of Wheat Growers

Washington State Farm Bureau

Western AgCredit

Western Equipment Dealers Association

Western Peanut Growers Association

Western Sugar Cooperative

Westfield Sugar Factory

Wisconsin Corn Growers Association

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation

Wyoming Sugar Company, LLC

Yankee Farm Credit, ACA

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