Sugar growers to explore loan rate options in next farm bill

The chairman of the American Sugar Alliance says farmers need higher base prices in the next farm bill.

Ryan Weston tells Brownfield input prices are up to 200 percent more than last year and farm policy needs to reflect growing costs.

“If you don’t have slightly higher market prices right now, you are not making money, and, that for the long term for food security of the United States is very important,” he says. 

The farm bill sets a minimal loan price for sugar growers and works similarly to the Agriculture Risk (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) crop insurance programs.  Weston says a higher loan rate should be in line with the actual production costs.

“But, as inflation has gone up for all commodities, basically, the base safety net has not kept up,” he explains.

He says the industry is currently evaluating data to determine fairer rates and, once determined, will be calling on Congress to make the updates. 

The sugar loan rate set in the farm bill has only increased twice in the past 14 years.

Brownfield interviewed Weston during the National Farm Broadcasting Convention’s Trade Talk in Kansas City.

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