Mykel Taylor – Help with Farm Bill

(Mykel) I’m Mykel Taylor and I am an Extension Farm Management Specialist at K-State in the Department of Agricultural Economics. And I have been working this fall with a couple of other folks at the Department, Art Barnaby who is also an Extension Specialist and Robin Reed. And we have been looking at the Farm Bill this year and trying to figure out what the best options are for Kansas producers. And I have to say that we’ve discovered it’s pretty darn complicated and requires a fair bit of effort in trying to figure out what the best options would be for our producers. As such, we have been working collaboratively with some folks in the Ag Econ Department down at Oklahoma State University and we’ve put together a spread sheet tool that’s available on agmanager.info and that spreadsheet tool allows producers to take the information that they’ve gotten from FSA this summer regarding their base acres and program yields and plug that information in, as well as some updated yields and acreage information to look at a couple different choices that they’re gonna have to make with regard to the Farm Bill. The first one is gonna be reallocating their base acres. And then the second one is gonna be deciding which program they’re gonna enroll in. And unfortunately those decisions are really dependent on expectations for the next five or six years with regard to prices and yields. And so there’s a lot of uncertainty in this decision. And one of the ways that we are trying to help Kansas producers is to get out as much information as possible. And we’re doing that a couple different ways. We’ve had some trainings for some of our country ag extension agents. And so they are getting prepared to help growers on a one-on-one basis when they’re coming in with their information. And then we’re also gonna do some statewide meetings. We have 15 of them planned that are scattered across the state and those will be held in January and February. And Art Barnaby and I will be out discussing various aspects of the programs and some different ways of thinking about how you might make that decision. But yeah, we’re just trying to do everything we can to give growers enough information that they can feel comfortable with that decision, because although it is relatively complicated and very dependent on those expectations of where things are gonna be over the course of the next couple of years, we still want people to be as comfortable as they can be with the decisions that they make so that when they go into FSA, they’re going to be signing up January, February and March of 2015 and they have to get those decisions made and then they’re locked in for the next five years. So, we just want them to be as comfortable with that as possible.

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